Reading on the bus, however, is just as satisfying as it ever was.
I’ve been on a Captain America kick (with forays into the general MCU). Light on angst and Stucky (sorry, shippers), and high on humour and happy endings (or no endings at all in a couple cases). Here, only loosely organized, are the ones I’ve liked the most.
My absolutely fave is owlet's Infinite Coffee and Protection Detail series (currently there’s 6 stories).
During the fight on the helicarrier, the asset’s mission resets from “kill” to “protect”. The Mission Briefing keeps downloading images the Asset doesn’t remember. The Mission Imperative demands that they contact the Pain in the Ass Target. And the Mission Head is still figuring out who he is. Together they make one weird ass team, but they mostly work.
Bucky’s internal voice(s) are flawless and fun, and there’s enough owie to keep him human and as real as a comic book, brain washed, super soldier can be.Very highly recommended.
Close second is the fake meta Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film by eleveninches, Febricant, hellotailor, M_Leigh, neenya, and tigrrmilk.
From the filmed in Hollywood Buster Crabbe/Rita Hayworth melodrama, to the 2011 superhero megaflick starring Channing Tatum. When the AFI celebrates the US release of the French vérité starring little known Americans Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan (15 years after the fact), the team decides it time to let Steve watch the most famous Captain America films (and Tony throws one in just for funsies).
The posters are wonderful, the summaries and reviews of the films are brilliant. Another very strong recommendation.
For those who enjoy Darcy Lewis, there’s suzukiblu’s I Once Started to Walk Around the World but Ended up in Brooklyn. Delightful and funny and a little sad, this still managed a touch of owies as Bucky Barnes and the Winter Soldier learn to be Darcy's Intern.
Another “soldier on the loose” story is the neat little Assets Out of Containment by follow_the_sun. Post-CA:TWS, Bucky suspects Jurassic World might be a Hydra front. The ending isn’t quite as strong as the beginning, but it’s much better than the movie. (How did the guy have enough time to change clothes but the female lead had to stay in her ripped skirt?)
Seven Short Interludes in a Brief Life of Celebrity by jailed. This is Steve as part of the USO tour. It focuses on the women more than on Steve, but we see him slowly become part of this little community.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by Laura JV is a realistic exploration of what it might have been like to be bi-curious in the 1940s. Quiet, thoughtful, well-written.
Bargaining by proantagonist is Loki-centric. In it, Loki’s guilt over the death of Thor, leads him to make a bargain with a witch. It takes him too far back in time. As he waits for the moment he can change his fatal choice, he makes slightly different decisions along the way. Wonderfully subtle AU.
And then there’s Recursive by Domenika Marzione. Another time-traveling “change the past” story, but author doesn’t allow much to change. What sets this story apart is Cap’s voice as a displaced soldier (both in the present as a soldier from the past, and in the past as a soldier from the present), and the level of military realism.
If you really want to get your geek on, check out DoMarzione’s MCU Meta, an exploration of various aspects of MCU lore from how long it really was between Bucky’s fall and Steve’s crash, and why Sam was absolutely correct when he said “I do what he does, just slower.”
If you enjoy Loki, then check out LokiOfSassgaard. The series is Loki Annoys the Marvel Universe.
Story 1 is Loki's origins, from babe to bad boy. It explores the prejudices and culture of Asgaard, the relationships between Loki and Thor, Loki and Odin, Loki and Asgaard in general. All the things that led to Loki feeling like an outcast in his own life.
Story 2 is Loki on Earth during WWII. The tesseract is calling to him, but the only way he can get to it is... to enlist. This is a WIP, but I've read what exists a couple time because author has done such a good job of inserting Loki into the Howing Commandos (and Wolverine, and Phil Coulson's dad, because why not?)
Even not knowing much about Deadpool, I enjoyed In Wade We Trust (We Are So Screwed) by dentalfloss in which Hawkeye kind of accidentally saves Wade Wilson from endless drowning, and Deadpool decides that Barton’s okay to hang out with. Despite the Clint/Coulson (I pairing I really don’t understand), this is quirky and fun, with smidges of plot and violence.
Dentalfloss obviously favours Hawkeye. Through the Glass is an explanation (somewhat dark) of why Clint, smart-ass former runaway and assassin, joined SHIELD and why he stayed. It’s not what you think.
And Wiping Off the Dust. A de-aged fic that is less about the kewt and more about "how would they REALLY react" Plus plot.
More Clint (and he's not even my favourite character): The Marvel Fractions by Nonymos. This time he’s paired with the Hulk. Hawkeye and the Hulk aren't a pairing I'd ever thought of, but Nonymos somehow makes it absolutely work. Even when Barton can't get it up for Bruce, they're still together in all the ways that matter.
On a darker note, Refrain by Liannabob is a “what if” in which "The Greater Good" is used to uphold many nasty things. “Post Iron Man 3, Tony looks into why the rest of his team didn't help him. Mind-control, kidnappings and corruption, oh my.”
Delightfully cracky (but still with good characterization and plotty stuff) is Amateur Theatrics by galaxysoup. This is a deft do-over that is never over sweet. Magic changes everything! Tony is a woman. Natasha and Bruce are each other, and Loki, Steve and Thor are 6.
For general crack delight, Can You Slash Green Eggs and Ham? by redscharlach explains everything about fandom. The summary is:
Could you slash green eggs and ham?
Could you be that kind of fan?
You might not slash them, so you say
But read some fanfic, and you may...
The Tin Man by james is in the Leverage fandom. It explains so much about Eliot. Plus it gave me a fun excuse to forget the horse episode's awkward romance thing. Eliot was created in a lab, a cybernetic soldier. Now he's trying to learn how to be human, finding a family and falling in love along the way.