Content Notes | Warnings: PTSD, mental health issues, established relationship, sexual difficulties, panic attacks, one incident of graphic violence
“No addiction. No catastrophe. And no philosophy, for fuck’s sake. You ever read anything in your life that wasn’t a downer?” Steve splays the book facedown across his thigh and rubs a bit of Bucky’s hair between forefinger and thumb. “What would be the fun in that?”
OR: Steve is deeply depressed; Bucky comes back; Steve continues to be deeply depressed.
Additional Comments: This fic/podfic focuses primarily on Steve’s depression, as he tries to find a place in life after he returned from the ice. He is putting off the SHIELD psych evaluation he needs to pass before he can fight with the Avenger. He wants to be a Planned Parenthood escort even when Natasha tells him he can’t. We don’t see (in this story) how Bucky comes back to Steve after the events of CA:TWS - he is simply there in Steve’s Brooklyn apartment, sleeping (or practicing playing possum), and he challenges Steve to look at his own mental health. There are fascinating quotes from books that Natasha gives to Steve, there are pancakes from the International House of Pancakes. There is a trip to Washington D.C.. Sam is the best of friends. I fell in love with this Steve two paragraphs in, which is largely owed to Quietnight’s beautiful reading. If you are in the mood for a quiet, unusual, half-angsty, half-happy Stucky fic, this is the one for you.
Bucky picks at the delicate fabric to reveal a silken black lining underneath. He holds it up in front of him and suddenly it’s like he can see himself looking at it, like he’s in a department store picking out his size, wondering if he should take it to a fitting room. He wants to hold it against his body, low on his hips.
Bucky drops the skirt like it’s caught on fire.
“Uh,” he calls out, panicked and wavery.
Then he stops because he doesn’t know what to say now, or even that he wants to say it.
Additional Comments: What for me stands out about this fic/podfic is the way it gorgeously combines kink and canon – Bucky roleplaying and crossdressing while he and Steve are traveling around in search of Hydra bases to take out. It is such an insightful, such a unique exploration of Bucky creating a new self by allowing himself fantasies of submissiveness and, eventually, wearing a skirt to make himself pretty and open for Steve. Feminization is not a road to recovery that I would have ever imagined for Bucky, but this fic/podfic made it real and even plausible to me. Bucky’s initial shame, his irritation and disgust with himself is very well described. And as much as this is a fic about Bucky, Steve’s easy acceptance of what Bucky needs is wonderful to read. The writing of the fic is exquisite, light and even humorous at times, with a depth of psychological understanding of feminization that has blown me away. @laheylupin is the perfect reader for this fic; she brings this Bucky alive in a way I could not have imagined. Do enjoy!