Fangirl Jessie Tarter has joined Fangirl Magazine as our resident Fanfic guru. Jessie knows her stuff as she not only reads fic but writes it.
Her new series is called “I Ship It” and it is worth your attention. Shipping characters in fandom has become sort of a requirement and causes debates on the level of “Who shot first?” It’s a fun part of fandom but for the love of all that is Joss don’t ever try to sink a Ship someone loves or you risk some major wrath. I know Supernatural fans that will cut you and cut you deep.
Here’s the first entry in “I Ship It” and it focuses on the all american couple of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.
I Ship It: Your personal Slash Fic Recommendation Service
Today’s Order: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes
I’ve not yet found the alternate universe fic where Steve is a golden lab trying to get a foul tempered raccoon named Bucky to reenact ‘Homeward Bound’ but rest assured, I’m looking.
In lieu of that, I give you my top 3 favorites featuring the boys from Brooklyn in all their super soldier glory. My preference for these two always runs in the vein of ‘trying to make it better.’ Whether it’s period specific homophobia or post Winter Solider memory retrieval, I take my Steve/Bucky with a side of cuddles and just a hint of angst. These three fics are the ones I turn to in my moments of need, and I happily pass them onto you. All of these can be found on Archive of Our Own.
Set in a world where Bucky is a veteran, still adjusting to civilian life, who’s most prized possession is the phone he bought for himself when he returned stateside. During a less than fruitful blind date, the phone is broken and Bucky is devastated to the point of Shakespearian soliloquy. He’s referred to a repair shop where low and behold, a certain skinny blonde punk is the only person on Earth possessing skills to save Bucky’s best and truest friend.
Thus begins a string of pining, ogling, purposeful phone demolishing, and eventually, some smooches.
This one is worth the price of admission just to see Natasha’s version of the ‘kiss the girl’ peptalk. That said, Osidiano spends a lot more time in characters’ heads than on dialogue, focusing on just how utterly infatuated Steve and Bucky become, and their half-baked schemes to get the other’s attention. Anyone who has ever waited that second too long keeping eye contact with a delectable cashier will sympathize with Bucky’s plight.
Not that the author writes a completely silent script. The dialogue, though sometimes taking a backseat to the fantasies, flows with familiarity. The reader honestly believes that Natasha and Bucky spent their time swapping war stories overseas, that Bucky hasn’t had a successful date in years and has completely forgotten how to talk to cute boys. Even the blind date in the first scene reeks with the discomfort associated with two strangers making small talk when they have nothing in common.
If you’ve got a penitent for alternate universes, contrived meetups, and hopeless dorks trying not to fall in love, give this one a gander at your earliest convenience.
To Make Bright and Clear Your Path
Rated: Teens and Above
Not going to lie, this one has a special place in this fanfic cluttered heart of mine.
Written as a series of short scenes, this story follows Bucky in his post Winter Soldier battle to remember who he used to be, and why he defied all protocol to save the man on the bridge. Spent partly in a study of surveillance while Bucky attempts to perform reconnaissance on Steve, staking out his apartment and occasionally venturing to the places described in his museum backstory, Bucky eventually ends up at Avenger’s tower where the beds are more comfortable and the company friendlier. Bucky still has doubts about his identity but if he remembers anything at all, it’s the white smile and blue eyes that he would follow into the jaws of Hell.
Come for the heart string tuggin’, stay for the way Lanyon writes dream sequences. The story is peppered with the feverish nightmares of a man’s mind trying desperately to reassemble itself. They’re short, sometimes barely more than two sentences, but they’ll gut you like a lobster in Maine. Lanyon nails the isolation angle of Bucky’s struggle to find himself amongst a sea of implanted memories and lost time.
Short and bitter sweet, it’s a quick read that will have you pouring through the author’s works searching for more.
Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film
By: Eleveninches, Febricant, Hellotailor, M_Leigh, Neenya, and Tigrrmilk
Rated: General Audiences
This one might be stretching the bounds of ‘slash’ just a hair, but it may also be one of the greatest gifts to fanfiction the world has ever read.
Imagine a universe where Steve Rogers existed. Not hard, that’s what the movies are for right? But what our cinema leaves out is the inevitable impact that America’s golden boy would have on our pop culture. Sure, we see the trading cards and the war reels, but where’s the bedsheets? The posters? The movies?
When the Avengers gang finds out about a Captain America themed film festival, they decide to have their own private screening. These include but are far from limited to such tidbits as: A Farrah Fawcett heartbreaker, some Mel Gibson religious iconography, robot dinosaurs, the Hell of war, and a crying Channing Tatum.
This fic is a monster of perfection, an absolute force of nature. Not only does it contain the domestic bliss universe where everyone’s favorite heroes hang out and binge watch movies together, the authors review those movies in exquisite detail so the reader may follow along with all the laughs and embarrassment.
To clarify, this piece features over ten completely plausible and painstakingly thorough reviews of movies that do. Not. Exist. These writers got together, thought up the kind of movies Hollywood would churn out about Steve over the course of decades, and then reviewed those movies as if they were working for NPR.
They even photoshopped posters for all them which are scattered throughout the fic.
The slash elements are light, for the most part. It is classified as a Steve/Bucky pairing but their dialogue in between the movies reads more like two friends on the world’s strangest date. Any actual cuddling (and otherwise) happens, as might be expected, in the movies themselves. While most of the movies feature Peggy Carter as Steve’s primary love interest, casting her as anything from a chorus girl to a Californian, two movies spotlight Bucky as both a lover and a fighter. One is a French arthouse film that ended up receiving some hefty criticism for casting America’s sweetheart in a homoromantic light, and the second is the final film in the series which I won’t dare spoil here. Suffice to say that Tony refers to it as ‘the masterpiece’ and I couldn’t agree more.
Read this fic. The idea is solid, the writing is superb, and the little Easter eggs along the way make it all the more entertaining. With luck, enough people will fall as hard for this story as I have and we can start petitioning Marvel to make these movies a reality.