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Under-Appreciated Steve/Bucky Fic Recs

From Steve/Bucky Recs

Looking for more? Browse fanfic recs by category or see a masterlist of all fics recced on this site.

With more than 47,000 Steve/Bucky fanfics on AO3 alone, it's easy for great fics to be overlooked. Here are some well-written and enjoyable Steve/Bucky (and Steve/Bucky adjacent) fics that deserve a little more love.

Fics must be complete and at least three months old to be included on this page. I will periodically re-check kudos counts.

Steve/Bucky Fics With 250 Kudos or less

Title: blood on the sheets
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/2252019
Author: glitterpop
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~9800
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed September 2014
Summary:

“What makes you happy?” Sam asked, looking him in the eye, smiling a little.

'Bucky does,' Steve thinks a little desperately. Bucky didn’t make him happy either though, that was the thing. All of the happiest moments of his life, all of the best decisions, Bucky had been at the center of almost all of them. He was making himself sick with thinking about Bucky now, though. Sick with grief, sick with ‘what-ifs’. Thinking of Bucky made him want to cry on a good day, and made him want to disappear into thin air on a bad day.

------

Steve wishes he could be dealing with this future he's been put into, and the dreams he's been having, better than he has been. It's just that he left everything that meant anything to him in the past.
Reccer's Notes:

Set post-Avengers, with Steve trying to adjust to the 21st century and hold on to his own identity while grieving Bucky and the loss of everything he'd ever known. Flashbacks and dreams involving their relationship before the war, which included BDSM elements (top Bucky, bottom Steve). Warnings for suicidal ideation.


Title: Mortal
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/3130667
Author: ilgaksu
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~700
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed January 2015
Summary:

Steve is ten years old and he’s a mortal sin walking.
Reccer's Notes:

Angsty Steve character study that packs a lot of punch into a few words

Steve/Bucky Fics With 500 Kudos or Less

Title: From Tralfamadore, With Love
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11692368/
Author: newsbypostcard
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~107k
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed August 2017
Summary:

In 2018, Steve, Sam, and Bucky embark on a mission to explore a Hydra-owned warehouse when a kid with mutant powers sends Steve 18 years into the future. After figuring out where (and when) he is, Steve tracks Bucky down in 2036 to find he's become a successful business owner and an impassioned advocate for mutant rights. Steve's just as in love with Bucky as he was when he left, but for Bucky it's been a long 18 years. It's hard to accept when Bucky keeps him at arm's length... but Steve's never met a challenge that he didn't take.

As he gets used to life in 2036 and the flaws in Bucky's idyllic life expose themselves, Steve also has to manage a suspiciously ubiquitous security force, a Brotherhood of Mutants, and old competing loyalties among his aged friends. There's a Bucky in 2018 waiting for him to come home, but if he does that, it means leaving this Bucky behind for a third, unforgivable time. How can he choose?

What's Bucky not saying?

How can he face losing everything -- again?
Reccer's Notes:

Past Sam/Bucky in addition to Steve/Bucky. A unique premise and a well-written fic that kept me on the edge of my seat


Title: Guide
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/6178471
Author: Sleeps With Coyotes
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~4000
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed March 2016
Summary:

Steve plays tourist to his old life.
Reccer's Notes:

Satisfying identity porn


Title: The Interrogation
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/14368212
Author: magdaliny
Rating: mature to explicit
Word Count: ~51k
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed April 2018
Summary:

There's a story and it goes like this.
Reccer's Notes:

The main fic in the Notebook No. 6 series. A lovely, multilayered epistolary fic written like one of Bucky's notebooks post-TWS. Jewish!Bucky.


Title: The Rhinoceros
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/13933410
Author: tinzelda
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~2100
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed March 2018
Summary:

Bucky’s gaze was fixed on Steve. He could feel it, though he couldn’t get up the courage to look Bucky right in the eye just yet. Because he was right. This had always been between them, as long as Steve could remember, and nothing—not girls, not a war, not a lost lifetime for each of them—had done anything to weaken it.

Why was Steve brave about everything but this?
Reccer's Notes:

Sweet


Title: Scrap Metal
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/4620798
Author: Scappodaqui and tinzelda
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~34k
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Status: Completed September 2015
Summary:

Steve and Bucky write each other during the war. With more than your usual inclusion of spam & jam sandwiches, chickens, radar-evasion devices, Dum Dum Dugan's hat, and that dumb lunkhead who plays Captain America. Who's that, Steve? Oh, just some guy I work with.
Reccer's Notes:

Steve/Bucky. A clever and well-researched World War 2 era epistolary fic in which Steve and Bucky foil the censors by using food metaphors


Title: a shape you wore in dreams
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/12696378
Author: Combination_NC
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~7300
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed November 2017
Summary:

It's not exactly a case of absence making the heart grow fonder; more like the distance war put between them when Bucky left for Europe making him realise just how much fondness his heart held for Steve to begin with.

Too bad he's going to die on this examination table before he can tell him about it.
Reccer's Notes:

Steve/Bucky. Lovely Bucky POV getting together/first time fic set during the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, from Steve rescuing Bucky to the aftermath of the bar scene with Peggy in the red dress

Steve/Bucky Fics With 750 Kudos or Less

Title: BQE Blues
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/10763931
Author: aurilly
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~17k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed May 2017
Summary:

Steve runs away after SHIELD defrosts him... 20 years earlier than in canon. He thinks he's alone, except he isn't, not at all.
Reccer's Notes:

A very enjoyable identity porn/canon divergence AU where Steve is found in the 1990s instead of the 2010s and escapes SHIELD to hide out in Queens


Title: The Dead Forest
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5708989
Author: hansbekhart
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~2200
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed January 2016
Summary:

They’ve taken down the elevated line, and without it the Bowery stretches wide and open like a razed country, smelling like nothing in particular, quiet and peaceful.
Reccer's Notes:

Gen, with implied past Steve/Bucky and Steve/Peggy. A melancholy portrait of Steve exploring New York shortly after waking up in the 21st century.


Title: Even as a Shadow
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/9553526
Author: rubysharkruby
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~11k
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed February 2017
Summary:

Bucky was different now but he was still here, still Bucky, and Steve didn't love this new quiet version any less.
Reccer's Notes:

I won't spoil you by saying too much, but this is a twisty and unsettling read that will stick with you


Title: an exceedingly mutually understood and well coordinated time
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/16653679
Author: Prim_the_Amazing
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~7200
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed November 2018
Summary:

“What are you two talking about over there,” Steve calls out from the other bed.

“Your dumb ass,” Sam says.

“Bucky Barnes’ true location,” Natasha says.

“Don’t tease him like that,” Sam says.

“I’m going to sleep,” Steve decides.
Reccer's Notes:

Delightful and funny Barbershop Quartet fic set in an a/b/o universe with telepathic soulbonds. Alpha!Steve, omega!Natasha, beta Sam and Bucky.


Title: If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/3989410/
Author: Scappodaqui
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~41k
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Status: Completed August 2015
Summary:

Bucky sometimes caught himself thinking, about the war: is all of this happening because old men saw the raw life in young men and wanted to squelch it? It was the same thing he had thought in school. Running track. When he had worked in the crew building the World’s Fair Railroad. And especially when he got his draft letter: they want to crush us like a piece of tin on train tracks.
Reccer's Notes:

Steve/Bucky. Part 2 of the If series, but can be read as a standalone. An angsty character study of Bucky in World War 2, post Azzano.


Title: it'll take a better war
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11872239
Author: napricot
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~27k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed August 2017
Summary:

“Pepper and I are—” Tony pauses for a fraction of a second while his brain runs rapidly through the ways he can finish that sentence. In the off again portion of our depressingly on again-off again relationship? Hopefully temporarily consciously uncoupled? On a break?

“Pregnant?” asks Steve, perking up like a dog that’s just been offered a treat, and not just any dog, one of those wholesome happy ones like a golden retriever or whatever. Maybe the guy’s just looking for any bit of good news right now, given it’s been one nasty surprise after another the past few days. Tony kind of does want to offer him a treat, or pet him, or something. That’s really not a good enough reason for what Tony says next though.

“Yeah, uh, yeah, we are.”
Reccer's Notes:

Tony/Pepper with implied background Steve/Bucky. Tony semi-accidentally blurts out to Steve that he and Pepper are expecting, and in his ensuing attempts to distract Steve from the lie, manages to thwart Zemo's plans and come to a number of revelations about himself, his life, and his relationships with Pepper, Steve, and the other Avengers.


Title: January 2nd, 1938
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/13247472
Author: kristophine
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~1200
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed January 2018
Summary:

“Stevie!”

Steve frowned harder down at the paper.

“Steve!” Bucky dropped down on the floor next to him. “Get a look at this!”

Grudgingly, Steve glanced up, and found himself laughing. “You didn’t.”
Reccer's Notes:

Lovely pre-war first time with some great banter


Title: The Kinder Thing
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/17795522
Author: stele3
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~27k
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence
Status: Completed February 2019
Summary:

Based on this prompt: "Ok, this is kinda involved but Steve/Bucky au where Steve originally only knew Bucky as the Winter Soldier but then meets his pre-brainwashed self due to time travel shenanigans."
Reccer's Notes:

Enjoyable story and an interesting exploration of how Steve and Bucky's lives might have been different if they'd never met as children


Title: the leaves of the night
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1210444
Author: Polexia_Aphrodite
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~4500
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed February 2014
Summary:

Steve and Bucky, from 1943 to the present.
Reccer's Notes:

Lovely


Title: Lodestar
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/655572
Author: legete
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~2500
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed January 2013
Summary:

It says something about him, as a soldier and as a man, that his most pressing concern is Steve refusing to play “when the war is over” with them.
Reccer's Notes:

Introspective WW2 era Bucky fic with pining


Title: Mine is the Shining Future
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/13600383
Author: brideofquiet
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~48k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed March 2018
Summary:

He could have a life here, but what would it be? He could be a grocer; he could marry a girl who remembers hearing his name on the prayer list nearly every Sunday mass. He could fill sketchbooks in his spare time and stuff them into a trunk under his bed when he’s exhausted their pages, never to be seen again. He could live and die on Friary Street.

It would be a fine life, if a simple one. Something similar was enough for his mother. It should be enough for him, too. Is it?

In late summer of 1937, Steve Rogers immigrates to America.
Reccer's Notes:

A lovely slow burn historical AU based loosely on the novel and 2015 film Brooklyn.


Title: nothing in me wasted
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/2266284
Author: lupinely
Rating: General Audiences
Word Count: ~16k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed September 2014
Summary:

It’s hard to love someone you fight alongside. It’s hard to love someone who is courageous and fierce and a little wild and watch them slowly get beaten to pieces, beaten down to nothing.

It’s hard to love someone, Sam thinks; but then again, it’s harder not to.

(Steve/Natasha/Sam/Bucky. Summer’s ending, and it’s time to start telling the truth.)
Reccer's Notes:

Lovely Steve/Bucky/Sam/Natasha OT4 fic


Title: o holy.
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/5181218
Author: orange_crushed
Rating: General Audiences
Word Count: ~1800
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed November 2015
Summary:

“Go away,” Steve says, imperiously, from behind the drape. “This room’s for performers only.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Him too, sure,” says Steve. “Performers and Jesus Christ only. So get out, Buck.”
Reccer's Notes:

A playful scene from a childhood Christmas pageant that really captures what they might have been like together as children

Steve/Bucky Fics With 1,000 Kudos Or Less

Title: All the Difference
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/3556481
Author: asocialconstruct
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~3400
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed March 2015
Summary:

Steve’s beautiful on his knees, always has been. Bucky leans back in the little room’s one chair and gets his cigarettes out, looking this new Steve up and down.

--

PWP, Steve and Bucky immediately after the pub scene in TFA.
Reccer's Notes:

Hot PWP with some light BDSM and bottom!Steve


Title: call my name and i'll be gone
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/14866889
Author: indigostohelit
Rating: Explicit
Word Count: ~2700
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed June 2018
Summary:

It's 1940. Bucky Barnes picks up a man at a bar on a Saturday night.
Reccer's Notes:

Melancholy time travel in which Steve travels back to 1940 Brooklyn post-Infinity War


Title: cover me in rag and bone
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/3545390
Author: radialarch
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~11k
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed March 2015
Summary:

They keep surviving, time after time.

[The Commandos get deployed to the Pacific.]
Reccer's Notes:

A canon divergence AU in which Bucky doesn't fall from the train and he and Steve escape together from the Valkyrie, only to be deployed with the Commandos to the Pacific Front.


Title: Malibu
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/6999880
Author: glitteratiglue
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~13k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed June 2016
Summary:

Steve believes Bucky is dead for exactly a week. Then he doesn't.

(AU where Steve rescues Bucky before Hydra can turn him into the Winter Soldier. They get to go home from the war, but that's only the start.)
Reccer's Notes:

A lovely fic in which Steve and Bucky get to go home together after the war and end up moving to California


Title: Things We Lost in the War
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/3697586
Author: gwyneth rhys
Rating: Mature
Word Count: ~32k
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Status: Completed April 2015
Summary:

Tell me what is really true. Tell me if I belong to you the way I think I do, if these are not just lies someone put inside me to warp my mind. Tell me this pounding in my chest is what I feel for you and not fear.
Reccer's Notes:

A lovely post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier fic in which Bucky isn't ready to come home yet, so he and Steve exchange letters.


Title: To Stop My Mind From Wandering
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/4176732
Author: Lynchy8
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~14k
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Status: Completed June 2015
Summary:

After the fall of Hydra, Steve goes in search of Bucky in the hope of bringing him home. Meanwhile someone has broken into Steve's D.C. apartment, but what kind of burglar or assassin buys paint and drywall mud?
Reccer's Notes:

Lovely post-Winter Soldier recovery fic.


Title: you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/7791682
Author: biblionerd07
Rating: Teen+
Word Count: ~15k
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Status: Completed August 2016
Summary:

Steve and Bucky aren't really much of a Steve and Bucky anymore these days. Steve's sure it's because Bucky doesn't see himself as the same guy who used to love Steve. In a desperate attempt to prove him wrong, Steve begs Bucky to go on a road trip together, the way they used to dream about, and does his best to remind Bucky of who he is.
Reccer's Notes:

Steve/Bucky. Lovely post-Civil War road trip in which Steve and Bucky try to reconnect and rebuild their relationship.


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