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Mark My Words

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August 27, 2025

Dear new resident,

Hey there! My name is Darcy Lewis. I was the last resident of the rental cabin you’re currently staying in, and because I know the USPS isn’t 100% reliable, would you be able to forward any of my mail that comes to your mailbox? I’ve written the new address below. Thanks again!

- Darcy

P.S. – if you see teeny little paw prints in blue paint on the driveway, they were already there before I moved in. The creepy tin box in the attic was also there when I moved in.

September 4, 2023

Dear Ms. Lewis,

Thanks for your correspondence. I am actually a bit confused by your letter. My good friend built this cabin and as far as I know, nobody else stayed here before. Are you sure you’re talking about this cabin? You might’ve confused this cabin for the one a few roads down.

Best,

James Barnes

Dear Mr. Barnes,

Thanks for the quick reply. No, I did NOT confuse cabins. I lived in that one for a long time. Really long. I’d know which mailbox to drop the letter in. Again, if you get any mail addressed to my name, please forward them if you can.

Also, I can’t tell if it’s your handwriting or my vision is going, but the year is 2025.

- Darcy

Ha ha. I get it. Nice try, Steve. I promise I’ll leave the house more if you stop sending me these damn letters.

Mr. Barnes,

Who’s Steve?????

I get the sense you’re not interested in forwarding my mail. That’s fine – you can use them as tinder for the fireplace.

Best regards,

Darcy Lewis

Dear Ms. Lewis,

Ma’am, I am so sorry.

I thought my buddy was screwing with me, but I can see that’s not the case. If I get any of your letters, I promise to forward them to your new address.

Also, to be clear, it is 2023. I get confused by a lot of things, but I’m good with numbers. It’s September 7, weather’s 78 here in Jersey, and I feel all of a hundred and some years.

Sincerely,

Bucky Barnes

P.S. – There’s no tin box in the attic, by the way. And the driveway’s got no painted paw prints.

Dear Mr. Barnes,

It’s 2025, dude. Also didn’t your say your name was James?

Wait. James Bucky Barnes…

o.O

And your buddy. Steve? Let me guess – you’re friends with Captain America!

I have to say, I’ve not come across a lot of Bucky Barnes impersonators, but this has been an experience. Kudos, dude! I swear I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. What’s your real name?

How do your letters get here so fast?

- Darcy

Dear Ms. Lewis,

I am not sure how I should reply to that. I’m no impersonator. Name’s James Buchanan Barnes, Bucky for short. It’s not something I… well. Anyway. I rang my friend Steve after reading your last letter and asked about you. Apparently we run in the same circles. You still working with Shield?

Still doesn’t explain how you think you stayed in this cabin before.

I’m not sure why our letters deliver so fast. Wizard stuff, probably. If you’re saying it’s 2025, it’s definitely wizard stuff.

James is my first name. You can call me Bucky.

Dear Bucky,

Workplace associates, huh? I asked my friends about you too. They haven’t heard from you in a while. I also agree—definitely smell wizard stuff here. It does make sense, since I actual facts know the letterbox outside my house was a gift from Thor…’s brother. Turning a new leaf and all. Totally not suspicious at all…

So Steve’s cabin is where you’re staying. Yeah, I stayed there last summer for some much needed me-time. I think you’d know why, with all that’s happened. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m two years ahead of you. Ask Steve who built his mailbox. My prime suspects are Loki or Stephen Strange. Either way this is pretty neat, right? Instant communication. Although texting would be faster, I kind of like writing it out like this. I don’t get to do it very often.

If I recall correctly, 2023-Steve is in his goatee phase. He shaves that monstrosity in December, thank god. Something to look forward to!

I don’t know what to make of all this, honestly. I’ll ask if using this mailbox thing is a good idea. I don’t want to jeopardize our universe or something just because we wrote a letter.

You can call me Darcy, too. Ms. Lewis always sounds too formal for me.

September 10, 2023

Dear Darcy,

I asked around and had Strange double-check the mailbox. Didn’t seem too happy to be summoned like that (no need to press how). Verdict is…no risk to our universe is gonna happen by writing a letter. We can breathe easy.

I don’t do this much either. Writing. Hardly remember doing much of it at all, really. Just when I was a kid in school maybe, pretending to copy off of Steve. I don’t mind, though.

Hope you’re having a good day, all the way in 2025.

Best,

Bucky

September 10, 2025

Bucky,

I checked with my friends here too. It’s totally safe, if not really fuckin’ weird. But neat, all the same.

So. While we're here... You wanna be pen pals?

(You can say no)

(It’s just…this is really, really cool.)

(No pressure)

- Darcy

Dear Darcy,

Sounds like fun.

Best,

Bucky

September 14, 2025

Dear Bucky,

Well! We’re doing this the proper way then, and that means: introductions!!

My name’s Darcy Lewis. I’m from Virginia, did my bachelor’s in Political Science, spent five years working in astrophysical research with Jane (you know Jane?), went on a career change, then that giant purple foot-chin alien fucked the next five years of my life over. That was fun to talk about in therapy. Hm. Oversharing.

Now, I’m settled in Brooklyn working at a journal. It’s a pretty neat job.

What about you? What has Bucky Barnes been up to?

- Darcy

September 16, 2023

Hey Darcy,

I don’t think it was oversharing; it was honest. And real. I appreciated it. And Brooklyn has a lot of memories, but it’s changed a lot since I last lived there. If it helps, my last five years were pretty fucked too. Think: gone-from-reality fucked.

I really enjoyed your nickname for that guy. He was the worst.

As for your question…I’m sure you already know everything about me, Shield or not. Still, I’ll bite. I work a lot with my hands. There’s a lot to do here, and I like fixing things, so that’s what I’ve been up to. It helps quiet my mind, even if it’s just for a little while. But that’s hard to explain. I’m thinking of this as my early retirement.

What else…

Cable was installed yesterday. Nat kept insisting I needed it for a distraction, hobby. There’s a program called The Price Is Right that airs in the mornings. You see it before?

Best,

Bucky

September 20, 2025

Bucky,

Hahaha yeah I’ve seen that show. It’s been on reruns since I was a kid who still watched cable. It’s a good experience for a newbie, though. I’m weak toward Say Yes to the Dress, if only to shout at my TV at the women who consistently overpay for ugly AF wedding dresses.

Look for TVLand. I’m sure Tony’s called you the Six Million Dollar Man at some point. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts ;)

When I needed to quiet my mind, I used to stare up at the stars. It made me think of how big the universe is and for whatever reason, that used to comfort me. Now that I know what lives beyond them, well. It doesn’t quiet my mind much anymore.

To your earlier point: you’re right, I totally read your Shield file. Just as I know you read mine when you found out we were both tied with Shield. I’d say that makes us even, right?

- Darcy

September 21, 2023

Darcy,

Yeah, you’re right…we’re even.

Nat is watching me as I write this. She came by to drop off something before flying out. She says it would be a thousand percent easier if she just called you on her cell phone and sped this whole thing along. She dialed before I could stop her—doesn’t matter though. The call didn’t go through.

Where were you in 2023, by the way?

I used to look at the stars. That was all I had sometimes, back then. My buddies called it cold comfort – we’d add them up and see how many new one we’d find, and guess how many of them were our boys lighting up the sky.

Sorry. I don’t mean to be so grim.

Hope you’re having a good day, Darcy. Thanks again for the letters. It’s nice to have something to look forward to in the morning.

- Bucky

September 22, 2025

Dear Bucky,

In 2023 I was in pretty bad shape, to be honest, and I didn’t tell anyone but Jane where I was. I had my phone disconnected too, so you won’t be able to reach me where (when?) you are. Sorry man.

You know what…let’s make this an honesty hour. May as well, right? I don’t think you’ll judge me for it and I’ve gotten past it. I wasn’t Snapped, but living five years with everybody I loved gone, and my family disintegrating before my eyes was hard to cope with. Having them suddenly come back was almost harder. I felt like I was going crazy, so I checked myself into a wellness center for a few weeks.

I wouldn’t worry about your stories being grim. It’s a grim fucking universe, Bucky, and we’re all just trying to live in it.

On a brighter note, today I taught myself how to rewire a lamp. I feel so industrious! Just call me Renaissance Darcy.

Hope you’re having a nice day. Jersey’s pretty warm this time around.

- Darcy

Sept 24, 2023

Dear Darcy,

That was a badass honesty hour, Darce. I feel pretty honored to be trusted with that. And just because you weren’t Snapped doesn’t mean dealing with it wasn’t hard as shit. You’ve seen Clint. He might be the strongest of us all, honestly.

Reciprocity though. Where do I begin, ha… well, I enlisted for WWII, was a POW, kind of died, was experimented on, became the Winter Soldier for decades, nearly killed my best friend, got my memories fixed so I wouldn’t revert to the Winter Soldier again, fought against Purple Foot-Chin, Snapped… came back, fought some more, therapy, and now staying in Steve’s cabin for the foreseeable future.

But obviously not, if I’d moved out long enough for you to move in two-years later.

Today’s bright note: I found a stray kitten. She’s blind in one eye, far as I can tell, and her fur’s pretty matted. She’s hissing at me as we speak. I’m patient, though. I’ll wait her out, even if it takes years.

- Bucky

YOU GOT A CAT! You! GOT A WEE KITTY! OMG if you have any questions, please ask me. ASK ME ALL THE CAT QUESTIONS I AM SO GOOD WITH THEMMMMM

Send me pictures!!

- Darcy

Tried taking a polaroid. She’s not happy with me for it.

October 3, 2025

Bucky,

I am SO sorry for the late reply. Work got super busy and I barely had time to think, let alone write. Your kitten is adorable. I take it she was amenable to a gentle clean?

Also, you totally called me Darce in your last letter. I love it. Does that mean I get to call you Buck?

Best,

Darce

P.S. - Here’s my cat. Her name is Mew-Mew <3

October 7, 2023

Darcy,

Okay, that’s fuckin’ adorable.

So far hell-kitty will listen to the name Chloe. She hates everything. She’s cottoned on that I bring her food, so she hates me a little less. I was painting the mailbox yesterday and she got into the paint somehow, and now the driveway’s got blue paw prints. So I guess we know where that came from.

Also, guess who showed up at my door today? Hint: His name rhymes with “More”.

Buck is good. Anything but James. Nothing wrong with it, but I’m hardly a James, unless I don't like you, maybe.

Best,

Bucky

October 8, 2025

THOR! Oh my god! Literally! Say hello for me!!

I love him. He’s the absolute sweetest. What’s he visiting for? That reminds me, I should pay him a visit myself. I miss him and it’s been a really long time. You’ve read my file – the way we met was hilarious. And the most ironic thing the universe could’ve set up.

I’m glad you’re having a good time, Bucky. Good days are the best.

- Darcy

October 10, 2023

Darcy,

My dearest friend. Our friend Barnes graciously allowed me to pen you a note myself to say hello. I hope you are well, wherever you are. Time should not be meddled with, so I am glad to hear you and Barnes are using this gift responsibly—though I will be speaking with my brother about this letterbox he gifted you. A mischief-maker he remains. I must ask: have I cut my hair yet? I have recounted our first meeting to Barnes here. He found great mirth in this story; I plan to tell it again later tonight, perhaps a little more grandly. Hope you are well. You friend, Thor.

And that was Thor. He’s a real nice guy – came to ask if I’d consider traveling abroad with him... abroad, meaning in space. Says I’d make a good fit. I dunno. Haven’t given him an answer yet. I’m not sure how I feel about any of this.

What would you do?

- Bucky

Dear Bucky,

First, tell Thor that yes, he cut his hair in 2025. It looks awesome and he can rock any hair length.

Second, to your question: wow, that’s an incredible offer. I don’t think it really matters what I would do, honestly, because it’s all about what you are willing to do. Does this interest you? Excite you? Frighten you? You’ve never experienced space travel before; do you want to?. But also, this is a huge step –when will you be back? These’re all things to consider, but ultimately it’s about what you want. And what you’re willing to risk.

If you do decide to go, I’ll totally miss you. Maybe you’ll find me on October 11, 2025 in a little apartment in Brooklyn. I hear this city was special to you :)

- Darcy

You’d go, wouldn’t you?

In a heartbeat.

Darcy,

I took Thor up on his offer.

Don’t get too sad just yet, doll—I’m bringing this damned mailbox with me. There’s no way I’ll keep my sanity in space travel without writing home to some level of normalcy. Somehow, I guess that became you. I hope you don’t mind.

Your friend,

Bucky

Dear Bucky,

YES!!!

I am so excited for you and I cannot BELIEVE you’re taking that entire mailbox! You better tell me all about space. And food. And aliens. And cultures! Everything! Oh this is so exciting!

And nope, don’t mind. Don’t mind one bit. While you're at it, maybe get some new stationary. Your old man is showing.

You friend and cheerleader,

Darcy