Darcy wasn't born with a Soulmark, and though it was hard in those first few years when all the girls planned out how they'd meet their soulmate, she got over it relatively quickly. By age eleven, she was the independent tomboy who didn't need a man to make her happy. By sixteen, she realized that though she didn't need boys, they could be a lot of fun.
Sixteen was also the age when her Soulmark showed up. It just appeared under her left breast during the night in early October. Her mother wasn't exactly happy when she realized Darcy didn't plan on telling her (she found out while they were out shopping for winter clothes). Her daughter didn't want to lie to Mrs. Lewis, she just didn't want the customary party celebrating the birth of her soulmate.
In the end, Mrs. Lewis agreed not to throw the party, not only because of her daughter's wishes, also because of the oddness of her Mark. Forgoing the party was not unheard of, especially if the Soulmark was something particularly dark (poor Mrs. Graham's son's Soulmark read "Please don't die on me!"), but that wasn't the case for Darcy; her's was perfectly normal in that regard. What was strange about her Soulmark was that it was in the print you saw on old typewriters.
"Miss Lewis, Mr. Stark wished for me to remind you that your room is a place that exists. With a bed." Was marked in two lines across Darcy's rib cage. Mrs. Lewis saw it as a sign that her daughter's soulmate wouldn't have hands and therefore had to write with a computer. Darcy took it as a sign that she was going to one day work for Stark Industries (or at least stay at his place for a night or two).
Though Darcy didn't have much interest in it, suddenly, she knew she was meant for mechanical engineering. She applied herself in the last 2 and half years of high school and graduated with honors. At Culver, she excelled and she loved her classmates and professors, but still the misogynistic atmosphere was still overwhelming.
That's what led her to apply to Doctor Jane Foster's internship despite it not really being her area of expertise. She was responsible for making sure that Jane didn't fall apart or her machines (Darcy heard of this thing called welding, which meant that the homemade tech would stay upright and functional with minimal duck tape usage).
And then the Golden God fell from the sky (he was lucky that Darcy hadn't been able to tinker with her new taser [Dr. Selvig confiscated her last one after it successfully gave a jump to their van]).
After a not so quick tour of Europe with the Battle of London being the final stop, Darcy found herself with a job offer from the joint forces of SHIELD and SI.
Darcy would have her own place in the tower, and though it felt oh so wrong to her feminist heart, she couldn't wait to meet her soulmate. She was doing great things with her life, why not relish in it with someone who understood her better than anyone on Earth (or the universe, as Jane and Thor proved)?
Jane had left London early with Thor, leaving the heavy equipment to the interns.
Ian grunted. "Darcy, I thought you were all about woman power. You should demonstrate some of that power and help me move this stuff."
Darcy turned to see the man hunched like Quasimodo with a steel pipe around his neck. "Ian, you misunderstand; I'm not making you carry that because you're a man, I'm making you carry it because you're still an intern and I'm not." She smiled at him sweetly.
He took a few drunken steps towards Avengers' Tower before frowning even deeper than before. "Aren't we working with Thor and Captain America? They could carry this and me and still not break a sweat."
Darcy clapped a hand on what little exposed shoulder he had which, because of the weight of the equipment he carried, made his knees buckle like it had been one of Thor's overly enthusiastic pats. "Stop complaining or I'm gonna make you stay with Jane and Thor when they go at it."
Ian, who was red in the face from straining, suddenly went pale. "That's it old chap! Stiff upper lip and all! Make your mates across the pond proud!"
Darcy directed the flow of equipment from the moving truck easily and even let whoever was willing help Ian unload.
She had a minor science!gasm when she saw her workshop. It was state of the art and packed with tools that Darcy had never even heard of. Originally, she was going to have Ian reassemble the tech, but she couldn't not. She shunned everyone, including a very put out Dr. Banner, before blasting music through her iPod speakers and getting to work.
Darcy was not Jane. Darcy knew how to stop for the night and sleep for at least 8 hours and feed herself. This is why she was so embarrassed when she woke up suddenly at 4 am, head sticking to the cold metal table. The last thing she remembered was turning off her music at 12:00 and swearing that she would only rest her eyes for five minutes. Damn jet lag.
She stood and stretched like a cat, checking her phone. She had one message from Jane. J told me you fell asleep in the lab. Just like mama. I'm so proud! ;)
Sarcasm and loss of dignity aside, who the hell was J? She didn't have much time to wonder, though, as a British voice interrupted her thoughts.
"Miss Lewis, Mr. Stark wished for me to remind you that your room is a place that exists. With a bed."
Darcy's breath hitched. This is what she'd been waiting for all day, in the back of her mind at least. She turned to the workshop door.
"I- Where are you?" There wasn't anyone with her and she realized she didn't even hear the door open.
"All around you ma'am. I'm an artificial intelligence that Mr. Stark installed to run the building, as well as all his homes."
Darcy sat there for a moment, stunned. Her mind went a mile a minute. She was being punk'd, right? Stark was up in his office giggling into his microphone right? She'd shown Jane her Soulmark but would the scientist really do this to her? That didn't seem like Jane. What the actual shit?
Darcy could only stammer out a small, "That... That's impossible..."
"Quite the contrary, Miss Lewis. Artificial Intelligence has been around for almost two decades now. I thought you, as a mechanical engineer, would know this."
Darcy scowled. "Not that, ass hole."
"Well then, I'm afraid I don't know your meaning."
"Can you see me? Do you have eyes?"
"I make use of all the cameras throughout the tower. I can 'see' you." If this voice really was just a computer program, she'd destroy the coding that allowed him to use sarcasm.
"We'll see this," she said, lifting her top so that Soulmark was visible. "Why does this say the first thing you ever said to me?"
It was quiet. For a moment, she thought she stumped the voice that she wasn't convinced was just a voice.
"Mr. Stark programmed me 8 years ago using an extremely complicated system that used binary and the Latin alphabet, wherein the meanings were slightly different depending on what font was used. I was even built to develop my own coding based on my experience."
"Alright, bodiless voice?" She'd been standing with half her stomach and a bit of her bra exposed and hastily replaced the fabric.
"One series of code that keeps appearing says, 'I- Where are you?' It has no purpose, junk or redundant coding not unlike the multitude of DNA strands that have no effect for or against the human body. I delete the string every time it shows up in the quest to be efficient and compact but it always returns."
"You're fucking kidding me right?" Darcy had no eyes to look into but she spotted a camera nestled in the far corner and stared intently.
"I'm afraid not, Miss Lewis."
"I- ugh, fuck!" She might pull out her hair. She might pull it all out. It seemed as logical as the situation she was in now. Darcy sat, silently contemplating the fact that her soulmate was basically Windows 8 with a voice. What would that even mean for either of them? Did he expect to date her? Would he try to sleep with her using a sex toy? Why was Tony Stark so fucking smart?
The voice didn't try to talk to her or guess her feelings which was a big up from her previous boyfriends. And now she was talking like the voice would be her boyfriend. She was losing her shit.
"Hey, Voice Dude?" She called out finally. She could see the sky lightening through the singular window.
"Yes, Miss Lewis?"
"What's the font on you 'Soulmark' or 'Soulcode' or whatever?"
"Curlz MT, Miss."
"May I inquire why?"
"That's my favorite font. I'd always use it for projects."