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We are Venom...until we're not

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After his fall through the water, Eddie felt...alone. He felt empty. And it sucked so fucking much, oh boy did it suck. Which was ironic, considering how since discovering Venom all he had wanted was to be alone in his own fucking head, to be empty of whatever...Venom was.

But, strange as it was to admit, Eddie had gotten attached. It was stupid and childish and maybe just a little bit crazy, but Eddie couldn't control his feelings any more than he could control the weather. He couldn't control his thoughts either, for that matter. Without Venom there, it seemed his treacherous mind had decided to fill in the empty space with venomous words - and not the kind Eddie would have wanted.

It was hard, not blaming himself. After all, Venom would have still been perfectly safe and alive if he hadn't followed Skirth into The Life Foundation, if he hadn't bashed the window in to free Maria, if he hadn't, if he hadn't, if he hadn't. Logically, he knew it was pointless to conjure up what if scenarios in his head, but the silence was beginning to get to him, and it had only been an hour without Venom.

Oh boy.

He was sitting on Anne's couch with a blanket draped over him like a cocoon, still shivering from head to toe. Dan was whispering with Anne on the other side of the room and kept throwing concerned glances at him every other second. It was obvious they were talking about him, but he couldn't bring himself to care. All Eddie could do at the moment was stare blankly ahead and think of ways to go on with his life normally from now on.

'Tch, like a normal life after Venom is possible, idiot,' his mind so very helpfully supplied.

And it was true, after all. It's not like he could just go back to being a normal citizen after the past few days, especially not when it felt like his heart had been literally ripped out of his chest. He still couldn't fathom why he cared so much about the damn parasite.

He just did.

"Listen, Eddie," Anne's voice filtered through his thoughts as she approached him carefully, "you can spend the night here, if you want. Dan and I will be upstairs so you can call for us if anything is wrong, okay?"

Eddie nodded mutely, grateful for the kindness but at a loss for what to say. Anne pursed her lips, an obvious sign of displeasure with his current state, but said nothing more. Instead, she patted his head, gave him a kiss on the forehead, and followed Dan upstairs.

Eddie waited a few minutes, just sitting there on the couch, still as a corpse, staring blankly ahead, before he sighed. The sigh shook his entire being from the inside out, the simple puff of air carrying more pain and loneliness than any words ever could. Eddie dropped down on the couch on his side, brought the corners of the blanket together in front of his face and stuffed his mouth with it before screaming as silently as possible into it while tears cascaded down his face.

The first night without Venom Eddie fell asleep with whispers of "I'm so sorry, please come back, I need you" caught on his chapped lips. The ghost of their kiss lingered still but it only made Eddie's heartbreak more unbearable.


Eddie was back at his apartment the next day. He didn't really want to be there so soon, especially after the wreck that he and Venom had left behind, but Anne had to go to her new job, Dan was on call, and he really couldn't bother them any more than he already had. Dan offered to give him another MRI scan just to check if everything was alright but it wasn't necessary.

"Thanks, Dan, but I'll pass. I'm sure I'm fine," he declined. Dan wanted to argue but Eddie stopped him with a friendly pat on the shoulder before he exited the house and started making his way back home.

The place was a wreck, as expected, but his heart was worse. Memories of the last time he had been here flashed through his mind all out of order, making it a very messy place. It was hard to think.

So Eddie did the only thing he could. He cleaned. He started by picking up bigger pieces of debris and other junk, then by moving what was left of his table aside so that he could sweep the glass and other shit from the floor. He then vacuumed too, for good measure, and broke the table into smaller bits to make it easier to carry to the dumpster. Eddie set the wood carefully at his entrance while he went back to make the finishing touches, then went back for it and took it outside.

It was already dark out when he stepped out of his apartment building, which was not surprising at all. Considering how distracted he had been when cleaning, it was no surprise it took him all day to do it. Good news was, though, he hadn't thought about Venom once while cleaning. Until now.

Fuck.

Eddie closed his eyes to stop the hot tears from spilling, then continued on his way to the dumpster. Just a couple more steps and he'd dump the memory of his table there, then he could go back inside to get wasted and cry about the fucking alien he had managed to catch feelings for in a few days.

Eddie clenched his jaw as he marched on, then dumped the wood with more force than necessary in the dumpster. He heard a rustling sound from somewhere inside it so he turned back around.

"Who's there?" he asked, wary. Eddie's heart was hammering in his chest with adrenaline and hope, hope that that parasitic idiot had actually survived and was right there, right now. Something dark jumped out of the dumpster, and Eddie flinched, expecting the symbiosis to begin, but when nothing happened he opened his eyes again only to see...a black cat ducking round the corner.

With a disappointed sigh, Eddie turned on his heel and started walking back, scolding himself for being so childish. Barely had he taken three steps forward when something solid hit his back and the familiar feeling of becoming one with something else, someone else, spread in his body. Eddie felt a dark, warm presence worming its way inside his body, filling up the empty spaces in his heart and mind, nuzzling against his skin and tucking itself in like a cat. He could feel Venom practically purr right beneath his skin, and for the first time Eddie wasn't sure where he ended and Venom started. They were one like never before.

"Eddie."

"Venom," Eddie breathed, relief and happiness surging through him.

"Miss me?" Venom said smugly, taunting Eddie, he knew. But there was affection in there too, protectiveness and possessiveness as well.

"Like you don't know, you asshole," Eddie sassed back as he made his way back inside, now a skip to his step making him bounce as he walked.

"I just want to hear you say it," the symbiote spoke back.

"I was...incomplete without you," Eddie confessed. "We are Venom, after all."

Venom detached himself from Eddie to come in front of his face, looking at him for a few seconds.

"We are one, Eddie. Forever. And anyone who comes between us will be torn apart without mercy," Venom approached his face and licked Eddie's cheek. It should have been gross but Eddie found himself leaning closer to Venom, seeking more. "You are mine."

Venom went back inside Eddie after that, but in no way did he go away. He followed Eddie throughout the night as they surfed the channels on TV, looking for something entertaining and educating for Venom to watch. In the end they settled for Hell's kitchen with running commentary from both Eddie and Venom.

Eddie fell asleep on the couch much later. His shirt had ridden up, leaving his stomach exposed to the cold air blowing in through the broken window he had yet to replace, with the blanket a few feet away on the armrest. Venom carefully rearranged Eddie's shirt and draped the blanket over his human, nuzzling his cheek affectionately before going to sleep as well.

It was good to be back.