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Fanfic Recs: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Proof that the remaining 10% is worth being assassinated by the Winter Soldier for here.

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, all of which have to be signed to stay on the page. No name recommendations will be shot with a P226R. Feel free to add a fanfic of your own to the list, but remember to use the template found here.

You can also add to the current recommendations if you want. Refrain from posting Conversation in the Main Page though; that goes in the discussion page.

Please be advised that these fics contain major spoilers for the film.

Authors and Websites
taralkariel
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Comments: A fanfic writer who writes stories for Star Wars and The Dark Knight Saga, she has recently written some excellent Winter Soldier fics, which are in-character, provide an excellent bromance between Steve and Bucky and provide insight into Bucky's mind. Two of her fics have even made it onto this page!

Shipping Fic
A Long Winter by dropdeaddream and WhatAreFears
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers/Peggy Carter
  • Summary: AU. In 1945, Steve Rogers jumps from a nosediving plane and swims through miles of Arctic Ocean to a frozen shore. In 1947, Steve Rogers marries Peggy Carter. In 1966, the New York Times finds the lost letters of Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes.
  • Comments: Read this, you will cry. A story of Steve Rogers through the Cold War, 911 Attack, Vietnam War etc. and all the winters in between.

ampersand by kaydeefalls
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: They've been steveandbucky since they were kids, but that ignores the parts of their lives that don't wrap around each other, that never did. (Bucky needs to figure out who he is, just him, with or without Steve.)
  • Comments:

Freezer Burn series by Domenika Marzione
  • Recommended by: Komodo Classic
  • Pairing: Bucky Barnes/Natasha Romanov in later stories
  • Summary: Steve Rogers: soldier, artist, foodie, friend, heart of the Avengers, and a guy whose past keeps creeping into his present and dictating his future. A series of stories about him and the people he has chosen to build his life around.
  • Comments: Not MCU compliant past The Avengers. Steve's life after, his work for SHIELD, his friendships with the other Avengers. And the Winter Soldier, whose first appearance comes on the tail end of Freezer Burn, the second story. Each can be read independently of the others; you'll miss a few references, but each is a fully-contained story.

Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Speranza
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: Time travel fic. Natasha wanted to tell him the whole story of wartime London and the pub and seeing who Steve Rogers was before he lost everything, and meeting The Winter Soldier only to find out that he was just a young charmer named Bucky Barnes.
  • Comments:

I'll close my eyes when the sky falls by Spylace
  • Recommended by: Komodo Classic
  • Pairing: Fleeting Bucky Barnes/Natasha Romanov
  • Summary: In dreams, the Winter Soldier is always falling. Itís not the crash that kills him.
  • Comments: Origin story of sorts for the Winter Soldier. Not told in chronological order. Short, quick read.

Ipseity series (Chyetirye, Chasm) by SkyisGray
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: Even the strongest personalities, when subjected to great physical, emotional, and sexual abuses, can splinter, or dissociate. Bucky Barnes lives a nightmare after falling from a train and being recovered by Hydra. His mind deals with the trauma by splintering into the soldier, the prisoner, the patriot, and the assassin.
  • Comments: Very detailed Dissociative Identity Disorder, great research, and extremely well-written subtle Stockholm Syndrome. Dark and serious but also surprisingly humorous at time, but mind the warnings!!

lilies with full hands by refusals
  • Recommended by: Sana
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Summary: His body is not his own. This may not be the first thing they teach him, but it is the first thing he learns.
  • Comments: One of if not the best Bucky recovery fics ever. Bucky's trauma is handled in a very sensitive, realistic way that somehow manages to be both awful and hopeful. Warnings for everything you'd expect Bucky to have been through and beyond, in particular sexual abuse and it's aftereffects, though its not esspecially graphic (and manages to be more effective for not being gratuitous "look at how much i can hurt this character!" fic), and self-harm and suicidal ideation in some chapters. You will probably cry, but it will be worth it.

the long slide from kingdom to kingdom by gyzym
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: They want you to love the whole damn world but you won't, you want it all narrowed down to one fleshy man in the bath, who knows what to do with his body, with his hands. -Richard Siken, Driving, Not Washing.
  • Comments:

The man on the bridge by boopboop
  • Recommended by: Scullery, SuddenFrost
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky, Tony/Pepper, Clint/Natasha
  • Synopsis: Steve Rogers turning up at Tony's door in the middle of the night might be a bit out of character, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility. Stranger things have happened. Steve Rogers turning up at Tony's door with an amnesiac assassin - who may or may not have some of Tony's personally designed hardware attached where his arm should be - well that's just far too interesting to turn away, even if Tony is trying to avoid all things S.H.I.E.L.D these days.
  • Comments: A multi-chapter fic exploring the (many) fall-outs immediately following CA:TWS, through the eyes of Tony Stark.
    • SuddenFrost: Eventually, the rest of the Avengers and the Falcon become involved in preventing Bucky from falling back into HYDRA's hands. Tony's characterization and narrative voice are remarkably well-done.

Me, Myself and I by Youssii
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: It would take a real bastard to give the Winter Soldier a Bucky Bear as a joke, wouldn't it?
  • Comments: Be warned of Psychological Horror.

miles to go before i sleep by Avelera
  • Recommended by: Komodo Classic
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Summary: Steve finds Bucky outside of the Smithsonian and invites him home. A hurt/comfort, wish-fulfillment sequel to "The Winter Soldier". Also contains angst because, really, how could it not?
  • Comments: A two-shot featuring the Winter Soldier and Captain America living in the same house and trying to figure out what they're going to do with their lives.

the nightmare from which I am trying to awake by Speranza
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: "You gotta bring him in, Cap." Tony Stark, distant: on speakerphone. "You can come in to me, or you can go toówell, I don't know who else is left. But you gotta bring him in."
  • Comments: Post-Winter Soldier fic, an unique take where Steve and Bucky are both alright... it's everyone else and the world at large that's the problem.

Parallel Constructions by freshbakedlady
  • Recommended by: Scullery
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Synopsis: In the absence of orders, the man wearing the face of Bucky Barnes must figure out who he will be. The answer, mostly, is "somebody Steve Rogers can love." Nothing so easy should ever take this much work.
  • Comments: 70 years of brainwashing and torture can unmake a man, and maybe that isn't something a person can ever fully recover from. I love a post-WS fic where Bucky is both and/nor neither the Winter Soldier and the James Buchanan Barnes that Steve remembers.

The S. Rogers Memorial (itís NOT a shrine) to J. B. Barnes by SkyisGray
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes; minor Tony/Pepper, Thor/Jane, Clint/Natasha
  • Summary: Post-Avengers, Winter Soldier AU. When the Avengers realize that Steve doesn't have anything to remind him of Bucky Barnes, they embark on a project to track down Bucky memorabilia. But it seems that Steve isn't the only visitor to the (unofficial) J. B. Barnes memorial (which is totally NOT a shrine, Tony).
  • Comments:

Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, tigrrmilk
  • Recommended by: caughtbluehanded, Scullery
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Synopsis: "Heil Hydra," the enemy agent shouts. "Heil this, motherfucker," says Captain America, shooting off a rocket. Steve and Bucky find out Hollywood has been busy since they went away. A historical survey, including but not limited to: one set of exploded genitals, a brief interlude in France, Mel Gibson and other masterworks of casting, eight academy awards, several dinosaurs, and something Tony Stark has ominously dubbed "the masterpiece." Art included.
  • Comments: Easily one of the most entertaining fics I have ever read. I laughed harder every time at Steve and Bucky's mounting horror, disgust and confusion at each new film. Extremely thorough and immensely fun. And do follow the authors' suggestion to click all the links. It is so worth it.

The thing that drives the wolves away by caughtinanocean
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: The thing about Bucky these days is that, while he might be a semi-mythical assassin, he's also vulnerableóthe kind of vulnerable that makes total strangers want to drape a blanket over his shoulders and take him to safety. Bucky was mistaken as being in an abusive relationship with Steve, which cannot be further from the truth.
  • Comments: The central theme of this story is contrasting Bystander Syndrome and Samaritan Syndrome, and it is very very good.

this black and white photo never captured my skin by bittereternity
  • Recommended by: caughtbluehanded, Komodo Classic
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Synopsis: The Winter Soldier wakes up and his eyes are dead, dead, dead.
  • Comments: Set after the events of the film. A gorgeous character study of Bucky as he slowly comes out of his brainwashing. It is beautiful, and you will probably cry.

we did not make ourselves by M_Leigh
  • Recommended by: caughtbluehanded
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Synopsis: It is like steel, the determination inside of you that tells you you will achieve this, that you will find him. Nothing will stop you. You are two sides of the same coin, you and he: he cannot escape you forever. Bucky runs. Steve follows.
  • Comments: A novella-length exploration of Steve and Bucky's relationship, told entirely in the second person and largely in flashbacks, eventually leading to events that take place after the end of the film. The flashbacks are filled with wonderful details of the time period (it had never before occurred to me that Steve and Bucky came of age during The Great Depression). Don't be put off by the second person—everything is very much in-character for Steve, and beautifully written besides. Also, it will break your heart.

your blue-eyed boys, (even if I could) make a deal with god, by Feather
  • Recommended by: genisgone, Scullery
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Summary: Post-Captain America: Winter Soldier recovery fic.
  • Comments: Also, the best post-Winter Soldier fanfic you will ever read. It takes everything seriously, itís heartbreaking and awful and hopeful and at times bitterly, terribly funny and at other times idiosyncratically adorable and also filled with Nightmare Fuel and every twisted hard one-step-forward-three-steps-back moment in recovery. Also it celebrates the women in the MCU. Also Sam Wilson is 100% the best friend ever. Also Steve is not, in fact, all that innocent. Also Tony Stark is at times ridiculously perceptive. And Game of Thrones puns. And a twelve-almost-thirteen-year-old chocolate selling neighborhood girl. And an almost religious reverence for really shitty coffee. Warnings for everything terrible one might expect to have happened to the Winter Soldier and beyond. Do yourself a favor and read Feather's work. Her grasp of the nuance of human interaction and particularly trauma is...rare, for a writer of comic-book movie fanfiction, if not unprecedented, and her stories will make you come away hopeful, and thoughtful as well.

your favorite ghost by augustbird
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Pairing: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
  • Summary: It's harder than Steve ever expected to bring Bucky home.
  • Comments:

Sassy Spatula Assassin by GraphiteWrites
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Pairing: Bucky/Natasha
  • Summary: Buckyís pancake-making is interrupted by a random Hydra sneaking into his and Natís apartment. He decides to be plucky, making terrible movie references and killing with flair!
  • Comments: Hilarious. Utterly hilarious. And awesome.

tin soldiers, by idrilka
  • Recommended by: K
  • Pairing: Steve/Bucky
  • Summary: Captain America's fandom (and a few academics who have written about it) react to the events of The Winter Soldier.
  • Comments: The verisimilitude in this story will hit you immediately if you've spent any time in Internet fandom. Told in a series of tumblr posts, Instagram pictures, Tweets, and LiveJournal comments, Steve himself is mostly on the periphery, although obviously everyone is talking about him primarily. Read if you like meta, because this is dripping in it, between the very self-aware spot_your_cap LJ comm and the scholarly texts about how the world perceives Captain America as a man and as a propaganda tool. This fic is a part of a series, the sequel the gravedigger's handbook tells the same story from Steve's perspective, but in a more conventional format. the gravedigger's handbook is a great, well-written story, but if you've read a lot of Bucky recovery fics, several of the plot beats will feel familiar— the only things that really differentiate it from a lot of the other fic on this page are the worldbuilding details from tin soldiers.

Gen Fic
And I Am Always with You by Lauralot
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Summary: He tries to reach out to Steve, but he canít feel his arm. Itís too cold. Everything is cold save for his blood and Steveís smile. Long after Bucky forgets his own name, he remembers "Steve."
  • Comments: Realistic portrayal of brainwashing aftermath, Stockholm Syndrome, and how psychological wounds heal and reopen and scar.

The Care and Feeding of Traumatized Ex-Assassins by Sholio
  • Recommended by: Glass Spires
  • Synopsis: Steve starts to notice someone's been in his apartment while he's not there. Set after Winter Soldier; spoilers.

Connect by oddishh
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: When they found him, there were so many broken pieces that the thought of the Winter Soldier ever being Bucky again seemed impossible. Time would tell.
  • Comments:

Fall Away by chibiMuffin999
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: Bucky has collapsed and his body is shutting down. Steve is determined to save him, but is there even anything he can do? (T for some language and occasional violence) Non-slash, just brotherly love.
  • Comments: The best thing to describe this fic would be "emotional tearjerking rollercoaster." You'll cry as Bucky gets weaker and weaker and as..well, see for yourself!

Functional by taralkariel
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: The Red Room produces the greatest assassins in history. The Winter Soldier is brought in to train the Black Widows, and Natalia Romanova quickly comes to his attention. After both are punished for humanizing the perfect weapon, they meet again outside of Odessa as enemies. Years later, Natasha helps Steve Rogers rehabilitate his best friend and must discover what he remembers.
  • Comments: A wonderful, sad, touching, funny fic centered around our favourite assassins.

In the Time of Need by Issay
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: Bucky and Steve. Steve and Bucky. Before and after everything changed - or maybe some things stayed unchanged.
  • Comments: A beautiful fic, and just when you think everything is going well, there's a twist ending, right out of the blue, in the spirit of the comics.

lonely houses off the road by Etharei
  • Recommended by: Komodo Classic
  • Synopsis: (From Ao3) In which various people deal with things they never signed up for, but at the end of the day no one's particularly surprised.
  • Comments: Chapter 1: The Winter Soldier unexpectedly shows up at Sam Wilson's workplace. Chapter 2: Each of the Avengers meets the Winter Soldier in a different way.

Mandatory Leave of Absence by solomonara
  • Recommended by: starwolf, caughtbluehanded
  • Synopsis: What happened to Councilwoman Hawley between the airport and the Triskelion?
  • Comments: A brief look at how grabbing a member of the World Security Council might go. Also, Renata may have been more important than anyone realized.

One Foot In Front of the Other by taralkariel
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: Sometime after CATWS, Bucky returns with Steve to Avengers Tower. With the help of the other Avengers, and especially Sam Wilson, he is able to reclaim himself enough to become friends with his new roommates. Series of 15 vignettes of life in Avengers Tower between missions, with a focus on Bucky. Fluffy and angsty, more detailed summary inside.
  • Comments: A touching, funny, sweet fanfiction. The relationships between each character are very well developed.

rarely pure and never simple by refusals
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Summary: Four times Alexander Pierce talked the Winter Soldier down from the proverbial edge and one time he threw him right over it.
  • Comments:

Reconciliation by TheRedStarAtNight
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Synopsis: With Steve and Natasha watching his back, Bucky believed he could reconcile the man he was and the man he was becoming. Set Post-The Winter Soldier.
  • Comments: The most solid and touching Bucky redemption fic I have ever read. Includes Bucky/Natasha.

tabula rasa by dance_at_bougival
  • Recommended by: fakescorpion
  • Summary: Bucky Barnes screamed himself hoarse on that table and screamed falling off that train. He screamed when they programmed him and screamed and screamed until he isnít Bucky Barnes anymore, not really. He is still screaming, a trapped rat running around a labyrinthine machine, clawing at the doors and running into dead ends. He has been screaming for seventy years.
  • Comments:

Even Heroes Bleed by chibiMuffin999
  • Recommended by: The Wild West Pyro
  • Summary: Bucky Barnes is a war hero. More importantly, he is Steve Roger's hero. But even heroes bleed. -An introspective of both Steve and Bucky's inner thoughts during TFA and TWS and beyond. Gets a little dark in places
  • Comments: A wonderful fic that follows the comics very closely. As well as that, Bucky's behaviour during his slow recovery process may remind some of Castiel.

Captain America: The First AvengerFan Fic RecommendationsCasablanca

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