Revenant by Stele3
Length: 73.499 words
Summary: Post-movie AU in which Bucky didn’t just leave Steve on a river bank…he took him.
Reccer’s Notes: First off, this is very, very good, but definitely heed the warnings. For one thing, it deals with Bucky’s initial brainwashing/conditioning, both from Bucky’s POV and what Steve discovers and, to be honest, this was the hardest part for me. There are excellent content notes on each chapter you can choose to view (via the “See the end of the chapter for notes” section at the beginning of each), that I would also recommend you heed, particularly in regard to sexual situations. So this isn’t what I would call a light read, but I’m definitely giving stele3 mad props for the warnings.
I read this as a WiP that I picked up around chapter 3 and couldn’t put down. At some point, I will definitely go back and reread it in one go, but given the length and content, this sure as hell isn’t the week to do it. Unfortunately, that’s making writing this rec a little difficult beyond just keysmashing and flailing wildly. It’s an intense fic, dealing with a traumatized and exceptionally dangerous Bucky who’s spinning wildly out of control, dragging Steve through the darkness with him. Steve is- well. Steve is neither unwilling kidnapee nor a sterling example of mental stability except in comparison, and he is sincerely out of his depth. I’m pretty sure he’d be smashing his way into Bucky’s darkness one way or another even if Bucky hadn’t already picked him up and carried him there, but because Bucky takes him, it has the effect of isolating them from any kind of support or backup systems for a good portion of the fic, creating a very different atmosphere than a lot of post-CA:TWS explore.
The end - the epilogue - makes it clear that even after coming in from the cold, there’s a long road to be walked. It’s not magically perfect, but two years later it’s far removed from where they started and a happy ending that’s a balm to the soul.