Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers

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Pairing
Pairing: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Alternative name(s): BB/SR, Stucky, Starbucks, Wintershield, Barnes and Noble
Gender category: Slash, M/M
Fandom: Captain America, Captain America Movieverse (MCU), Marvel Comics
Canonical?: Non-Canon
Prevalence: Popular
Archives:
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Bucky/Steve is a slash pairing between Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) from the Captain America related fandoms, but especially the Captain America Movieverse.

Canon

Relationship in the Comics

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Bucky and Steve are canonically best friends in almost every version of Marvel canon. In fact, in the comics, Steve often can't think of anything or anyone but Bucky. Sometimes they spend whole issues calling for each other. When given the chance to go back in time, Steve would gladly sacrifice everything he has just for a chance to be with Bucky again. Even in alternate universes where Steve is turned into an angel, nothing can keep them apart. It should also be noted that Steve's post-coital dreams involve Bucky...and missiles.

No matter the storyline or timeline, Bucky and Steve in the comics are the best of pals.

Relationship in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe movieverse, Bucky and Steve are best friends who grew up together in Brooklyn, New York. Steve spends most of the Captain America Movieverse chasing Bucky and single-handedly fighting and/or ignoring orders from anyone who tries to stop him, including the US Army, S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA, the United Nations, and Iron Man. Of course, even when Bucky is trying to kill Steve, Steve refuses to fight his buddy, his pal, his Bucky, except out of necessity. When Bucky is the Winter Soldier, it is his encounters with Steve that cut through years of brainwashing to trigger his memories of his past life and start him on the path to recovery. Opponents have been known to distract Steve from the task at hand by casually mentioning Bucky.

Fandom

Although Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers was a popular pairing following the release of Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, it wasn't until Captain America: The Winter Soldier in March 2014 that the popularity of this ship skyrocketed.[1][2] Viewers were compelled by the intensity of Steve's devotion to his friend at great personal cost as well as Bucky's desperate attempts to remember Steve despite Hydra's brainwashing.

Popularity

Bucky Barnes/Steve Rogers has the most fics of any Bucky or Steve-centric pairing on Archive of Our Own, with over 20,200 works tagged, and is the most popular Marvel Cinematic Universe pairing[3].

As of July 5, 2015, Bucky/Steve was the 7th most popular pairing on Archive of Our Own[4].

In 2015, Stucky made the "most reblogged ships" on Tumblr list, the only one in the MCU to do so[5]. In 2016, Stucky ranked number eight - one higher from the previous list and still the only Marvel/MCU ship to make the list[6].

Pairing Names

The main portmanteau for this ship is "Stucky".

an example of the I'm Fine Meme by nataliatasha, explaining how Stucky fans feel


Other names include Starbucks, Wintershield, and Barnes and Noble.

Common Tropes & Themes

  • "I'm with you till the end of the line."[7]
  • Up All Night To Get Bucky
  • Soulmates AU - Bucky and Steve are often portrayed as soulmates, with Steve's mark sometimes disappearing after Bucky was "killed" and he receives either a new one for the Winter Soldier's mark or his just returns, other times his soulmate mark stays (depends on the author's preference).
  • Genderswap fics, where both Steve and Bucky have always been females, or one is while the other one is a male.
  • Steve as the Winter Soldier
  • Both as Winter Soldiers
  • Bucky recovery stories - Stories that detail the process Bucky's recovery from his years of trauma, generally with Steve's help: also often with help/support from Sam, and occasionally from Natasha and other Avengers. These stories have a strong tendency toward classic hurt/comfort elements. There is notable subset of recovery stories that can be described as "Bucky adopts/befriends __"; fill in the blank with "a baby", "a dog", "a kitten", "a neighborhood kid", etc.
  • Varying combinations of their alternate identities, like Skinny!Steve/Winter Soldier!Bucky, Cap!Steve/pre-war!Bucky, etc.

Threesomes/Moresomes

The most popular threesome involving the Bucky/Steve pairing is likely Bucky/Steve/Tony, but many others are widespread as well. Bucky/Steve/Peggy appears occasionally in World War II-centric stories. Bucky/Steve/Natasha, Bucky/Steve/Sam, and the OT4 of Bucky/Steve/Natasha/Sam also became fairly popular after the release of the second Captain America film. Bucky/Darcy/Steve is another pairing that sometimes appears, often in more light-hearted fanfiction.

Notable Fanworks

Fanfiction

  • The Man on the Bridge by boopboop: 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. [Notable for being one of the longer multi-chapter fics for the pairing, but also one of the most popular and widely known. Tony POV, heavy emphasis on plot.]
  • Out of the Dead Land by emilyenrose: Someone is building machines that look and act like people. Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier tries to be Bucky Barnes. [Rated E. Identity issues, recovery.]
  • your blue-eyed boys by Feather (lalaietha): In all of his life - including not only the stuff people would expect, like storming the HYDRA factory alone or crashing the Valkyrie, but also being a kid and so sick he could literally hear his mother praying through tears a few feet over, and the days and nights it was him praying and her gasping for breath that eventually left her - In all that, through all that, this is the first time Steve's hands have actually shaken so badly he has to stop and sit and make himself calm down. [Rated M overall]
  • The Building From the Ground Up series and its podfics by Emiliana Darling: He is the Winter Soldier. He is James Buchanan Barnes. He’s not one and he’s not the other, and he’s not sure if that makes him anything worth saving. [Rated E overall. Three stories that span Bucky's experience in World War II, his immediate headspace post-Winter Soldier, and the process of his recovery.]
  • we did not make ourselves by M_Leigh: 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. [Rated M. Second person.]
  • Mistake on the Part of Nature by idiopathicsmile: Steve takes in Bucky's betrayed look and Sam's confusion, follows Sam's gaze to the pile of mangled fruit in the trash can. Sudden comprehension fills his face. "Oh," he says. "Bucky found out about bananas." [Rated T. Comedy, serious fun.]
  • Subjective Histories by Odsbodkins: Extracts from materials relating to the official biography of Steve Rogers (A Kid From Brooklyn, Yale University Press, 1999) [Rated M. Written in the style of an interview with the Howling Commandos after Steve's death.]
  • The City Bleeds its Aching Heart by Renne: The one where Steve and Bucky pose as a happily married couple while on a mission for SHIELD, to catch an international arms dealer hiding in a suburban neighbourhood. [Fake/pretend relationship, UST. Rated E.]
  • Escape From New York by beardsley: On Monday morning Thor parades bare-ass naked around the Tower; it all goes downhill from there. Or, the one where New York gets infected with alien sex pollen, Steve appears to be the only sane man, and the things that ensue include hilarity, fake zombies, pining and surprise makeouts. And a bear trap. [Humour, crack.]
  • Make One Dream Come True (you only live twice) by beardsley with a podfic by sisi_rambles: Five times the Winter Soldier evaded capture. In which there are tuxedoes, vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred), fakeout makeouts, massive property damage, a shark pit, and Steve has an Ursula Andress moment. But mostly, in true James Bond fashion, villains are seduced to the side of good. [[[UA]]. Adventure, romance.]
  • ampersand by kaydeefalls: 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.)
  • Ipseity series by SkyisGray: 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. Years later, they team up to save Steve Rogers. [[[Hurt/Comfort]], Dissociative Identity Disorder, Attempted Suicide]
  • Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, & tigrrmilk: 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. [Satire]
  • When I Put Away Childish Things by hansbekhart: Bucky gets on a Manhattan bound train around 2:30, heading to 8th St. He watches the Lady far off on Liberty Island as they roll over the East River. The train is crowded and people smile at him, pleased to see a handsome young man in uniform. He smiles back, pleased with the world and everything in it. He wonders where Steve might want to go for lunch. What he'd say if Bucky asked him if he’d ever thought about treating this thing between them as real. He comes out of the subway a little before 3 o'clock, and the world has changed. [Vivid, intimate description of Steve and Bucky's lives in 1940s Brooklyn. Jewish Bucky and Pre-serum Steve.]
  • All The Angels and The Saints by Speranza. In which Steve Rogers loses God and finds God and loses God, and also: Bucky.
  • Yes Captain series by [marlowe_tops]: Starts pre-Serum, in which Bucky takes seriously terrible care of himself because he’s trying to stifle the feelings he keeps having for Steve. Steve gets so pissed that he flat out orders Bucky into eating and sleeping and they both quickly realize Bucky loves being ordered around, but their new-forged domestic bliss is quickly damaged by the encroaching war. [The first part focuses on Steve and Bucky's discovery that they're into bondage and their experimentations into it pre-First Avenger up until Bucky's fall. The second part takes place shortly after the end of Winter Soldier and deals with Steve, Bucky, and how their life experiences change their relationship. Rated E.]
  • Bleak is this time of colour by [nepetation] Until the day they meet their soulmate, they see the world in black and white. Then everything fills with vibrant colours. When a person's soulmate dies, the colours go too. Bucky Barnes has the displeasure of experiencing this. [Soulmate AU with modern setting. Warning for major character death. Rated T.]
  • Change is Hard (and Harder, so much Harder) by [Dogtagsandsmut] Stella steps out of the vitaray chamber. Cheers immediately die, and everyone in the room looks shocked. She steps off the platform, center of gravity all wrong. “H-how do you feel?” Peggy chokes out. “Bigger,” Stella says, and oh shit, that’s not her voice. She opens her eyes, looks down. Her breasts are gone. Those aren’t her feet. She strips off her shirt. That’s a man’s chest. She yanks the belt out of her trousers. Pulls them out a bit from, Christ, from her pecs to take a peek. That’s a. Oh my God. That’s a man’s johnson. She looks up at Dr. Erskine, terrified, who stares back, head shaking in disbelief. Everyone in the room looks shell shocked. Oh, God. Bucky. What is Bucky going to think? “My husband is going to kill me.” [An unique take on the genderbend trope, where Steve is a woman who was turned into a man by the super serum, and both hers and her husband's struggle with dealing with that change. Rated E.]
  • Take Our Ashes to the Ocean by [caughtinanocean] Bucky is Steve's guardian angel. When he's taken after losing his wings, Steve must go on a journey to save him. Urban fantasy AU. [As it says on the tin - an AU where Bucky is Steve's guardian angel in a world where magic and magical beings are commonplace. Rated E (mainly for a sex scene and depictions of non-graphic domestic violence).]
  • This, You Protect by owlet, podfic by DustySoul. The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect [Post Captain America: The Winter Soldier Bucky fixates on protecting Steve] Gen, but has a slash sequel: Upgrade: Advanced Happiness Skills
  • The New Friends of James Barnes, Actual Human Being (Plus One Old One) by supergreak. In which the Winter Soldier makes some new friends, demolishes a lot of Hydra bases, discovers food courts, and finds his way home. [Post Captain America: The Winter Soldier Bucky seeks revenge on Hydra, aided by Deadpool and others comics characters.] Gen
  • Not Easily Conquered by dropdeaddream and WhatAreFears. Includes The Thirteen Letters] written from Bucky Barnes to Steve Rogers. A series in which Steve survives the crash and marries Peggy, only later to learn that Bucky loved him.
  • 4 Minute Window by Speranza "Look, if they catch me," Bucky muttered, "they're either going to kill me or they're going to put me in a box with a little window and—Steve, I can't." [Rated E]
  • If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you by Scappodaqui: 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. [Intense, Bucky-centric wartime fic with lovely historical detail and inarticulate yearning. A fic that sums up everything we love about this pairing. Rated E]
  • Ain't No Grave (Can Keep My Body Down) by spitandvinegar: It's six in the morning, and Steve is heading out on a run when he nearly trips over a bouquet of sunflowers on the front steps of his brownstone. For a second paranoia takes over, and he kicks the flowers a little, waiting for them to explode. They don't. They also came with a card, which he picks up. The front of the card has a tasteful picture of the Brooklyn bridge at sunset. It's very nice and sedate, like the kind of card you would buy to give to your boss. On the inside someone has written a short message in big, shaky block letters: I AM SORRY FOR SHOOTING YOU. Steve sits down hard on the steps. [Rated M]

Rec Lists

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanart

Vids

Archives and Communities

Fannish Links

Tumblr

Meta/Further Reading

Resources

References

  1. Evolution of a Ship. undeadrobin at Tumblr. Archived. Posted December 6, 2014. (Accessed 6 December 2014)
  2. Fics of Most Popular Marvel Ships Vs Time. kehinki at Tumblr. Archived. Posted June 22 2015. (Accessed December 5 2015)
  3. AO3 lists 20,254 works tagged Bucky/Steve as of June 8, 2016
  4. 2015 AO3 Ship Stats, Archived.
  5. Tumblr 2015 Year in Review: Most Reblogged Ships.
  6. 2016’s Top Ships
  7. Tumblr gifs of the scenes with Bucky & Steve. markoruffalo. Posted August 1, 2014. (Accessed 8 September 2014)
  8. Steve & Bucky enjoying a peaceful morning
  9. Liuyuchi Deviantart