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ON THE FAVES SHELF | howl’s moving castle by dianna wynne jones

“go to bed, you fool,” calcifer said sleepily. “you’re drunk.” “who, me?” said howl. “i assure you, my friends, i am cone sold stober.” he got up and stalked upstairs, feeling for the wall as if he thought it might escape him unless he kept in touch with it. his bedroom door did escape him.

Homecoming (Bucky Barnes x Reader)

Originally posted by hysterekial

Prompt: Hii again. Could you write a 40s bucky in which he leaves y/n behind when he goes to war and she thinks he died but then he comes back when Steve rescues him? Before the howling commandos? Thanks so much, I love your writting:)

A/N: I AM LOVING 1940S BUCKY. I’ve got The Andrews Sisters playing right now (OK, so the versions of their songs that I sang) and I am feeling great. Also sad, because this thing has a lot of feelings. Sorry. Thank you to @littlethin-gs for the request!

Tagged: @whatsbetterthanfantasy

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Damn it Gary you started a howl.

To memory now I can’t recall, by Etharei

“So this is some kind of vacation,” says Bucky.

Steve gives him his usual, why do I put up with you? face. “Yes, Bucky, advanced alien technology propelled you through time and space to give you the vacation you always wanted.”

“But it is the vacation I always wanted,” insists Bucky. He wiggles his toes until Steve swats at his shin with his free hand. “Steve, I get to visit the future. If somebody had asked me, even before the war, if I could choose between, I don’t know, a month in some tropical paradise or a month in the future, I’d have chosen the future.” He stretches, wincing at the pull on his bruises. “I get to see what the future looks like. I get to see what the hell we’ve been fighting so hard for. I get to see what happens after I’m gone. How many people get to do that, huh? And best of all,” he nudges at Steve and gives him his most winning smile, “I get to see it with you.”

(Bear with me, this one’s gonna be a long one; this story is 102K long, though, so it’s only fair.)

Let’s start with one of these, for a change:

  • I like novel-length stories built around a rich and complex plot that is both action and character-based: should I read this fic? My friend, this is possibly the only fic you should ever read.

1944-Bucky and the Winter Soldier exchange places in time: this turns out to be everything they needed and everything Steve needed (and possibly everything *we* needed).

With this story, Etharei takes us on a journey of grief. We don’t quite realize it at first, and it might not be what we want from this story, but she takes her time doing so, making us go through the process at a gentle pace that simultaneously places us (and the characters) on the road to recovery. And so, by the time we fully understand what’s happening, Etharei has already built up enough on that front that we find we can finish processing it painlessly.

Don’t go thinking this is all there is to this story, though. It also includes:

  • Top-notch characterizations of not only Bucky and the Winter Soldier, but pretty much any and all CA (TFA & TWS) characters you can think of. It made me fall in love with the Howling Commandos, and I am so thankful for that.
  • Action! Not just fighty-fight-scenes action (though there are some as well), but original, good plot-based action that you find yourself fascinated by even when you thought you were just in it for the characters and the relationships.
  • Great, original (and so-satisfying) use of Thor/Asgardian things, yay

And so much more. But at its core? At its core there is, in my opinion, grief.

Look, we know that the Winter Soldier isn’t Bucky, and we know that whoever that man will end up being once he’s finished recovering might not be the WS anymore, but will never quite be Bucky either – not pre-war Bucky, not post-Azzano Bucky. That man died, and he’s never gonna get the chance to hang out with his best friend/love of his life in the 21st century and simply enjoy life. How many recovery stories make a point of spelling this out? We know it, the characters know it, it’s just the way it is. But. What if? Because it’s just not *fair*, damn it, not fair to Bucky, not fair to Steve, and not fair to us either if we’re gonna be honest about it.

And Etharei gives it to us, gives us Bucky discovering the 21st century, hanging out with his best friend, gives us the other Avengers meeting and interacting with him, gives us Steve finally able to enjoy life as he so rightly deserves to. And it’s just – great, so damn great. So if you’re like me, you will spend the first half of this story being more enthralled by the Present-Bucky sections than by the Past-Winter Soldier ones, simply because you won’t want to be reminded of all this suffering while this amazing thing is happening. But that changes, because – well, because life isn’t an endless holiday in 21st century New York, and just as Bucky begins to feel it – this restless, unsettling frenzy that creeps up on him as he rushes to enjoy life while he still can – we start to feel it as well, and it’s almost as much a relief to us as it is to him when he finally accepts his looming end. It doesn’t mean the rest of his story isn’t painful, because there’s really nothing easy nor peaceful about the end of Bucky Barnes’ life, and we have to accept that; so your heart aches for him, and you grieve with him – but by the time you’re there, you’ve also been through the hardest part of the Winter Soldier’s recovery process, almost without realizing it, and it makes everything so much easier. Because, yes, Bucky will die, but James Barnes will live on.

This explains, I think, why, as the story develops, you slowly start craving the Past-Winter Soldier parts more than the Present-Bucky ones. Then, by the end of it, you find yourself ready to leave Bucky behind. And ITR, I find it utterly perfect that we don’t get the conclusion to his story, but focus instead on the present. We don’t need to see how Bucky’s story ends: the whole point was to recover from it, and we did (readers and characters alike).

Is this fic for me?

  • I like Steve/Bucky both as friends and as more than that: should I read this fic? Yeap
  • I like World War 2 stories / the commandos: should I read this fic? Yessss
  • I like team-stories/I like it when the Avengers interact with Steve and Bucky/The Winter Soldier: should I read this fic? Most definitely
  • I love complex plots that are well rooted in the Marvel universe: should I read this fic? Go ahead
  • I love recovery fics that start right after TWS: should I read this fic? I would definitely say it’s a recovery fic, but it may not be the type you’re thinking of.
  • I like friends-to-lovers stories: should I read this fic? Please!
  • I like stories dealing with the political repercussions of TWS: should I read this fic? Hmm, that’s not exactly what the story is about? There are definitely repercussions, but not quite political, and they don’t become a focus until the second half/last third of the story, so – try it out and see, I’d say?

Warning: Graphic depictions of violence

Rating: Explicit

Link: To memory now i can’t recall