They have an agreement. Once a week for exactly forty-five minutes, Venom leaves Eddie's body. He doesn't go far, usually slithers up into the vents and sulks and waits until Eddie knocks on the wall or bats at the ceiling with the broom so he can come edge back into his body. During the time that Venom is out of his body, Eddie masturbates. Venom doesn't know that's why he leaves. Eddie just told him that he needed "alone time."
"You have alone time now," Venom had said. "You haven't seen anyone but me in two days."
"Okay, can you stop making me sound like a loser, V?"
"Only if you stop being one."
Eddie puffed his cheeks but didn't take that bait. "Also has anyone ever explained the definition of alone to you? 'Cause having a Symbiote inside you is not it."
They were sitting on the balcony of Eddie's new apartment, watching the sun bleed into the San Francisco skyline. Eddie could feel Venom pouting. He hated separating from Eddie. Hated it. Eddie was loath to admit he wasn't too pleased when it happened either. The whole Venom staying in his body thing was actually going bizarrely well, and Eddie tried not to actively think about that, the fact that he functioned better with something literally inside of him. But this was necessity. He realized it three weeks ago when he woke up in the morning on his stomach, half-hard in his pajama bottoms. He pushed his hips against the mattress without thinking about it, spurred on by the heavy feeling of arousal in his pelvis, still half asleep.
Then Venom said, "This is tingly, what are you doing?" and Eddie got up so fast he fell backward, would have cracked his skull on the hardwood if Venom hadn't shielded him.
That's when he realized he needed to find some time to be alone. The thought of masturbating with Venom inside him felt like a line they absolutely could not cross for no reason and every reason. It was too much like having him watch, or be part of it. Eddie wasn't sure what it would be, technically. The thought of having to explain it, the need to touch himself, made his ears burn.
So they negotiated a full forty-five minutes. No more, no less. Venom spends every second leading up to the separation grumbling and pulling food away from Eddie just before he puts it into his mouth until Eddie gets fed up and starts the timer on his phone early.
"Sensitive," Venom says.
"I'm sensitive?" Eddie asks, as Venom pulls away from him, like gum being peeled off the sole of a shoe.
Venom stretches up and cranes part of himself to look at Eddie's phone.
"Forty-four minutes now, Eddie."
Then he slips up and through the vent. The moment he's gone, Eddie's skin goes white hot, slick, and he cups himself through his pants. He's been itching for it, lately. For some reason he can't get enough of himself, feels this constant edge he first thought was Venom and now realizes is a thin, constant undercurrent of arousal. Eddie strips down, gets on the bed, and touches himself.
He's never been shy about exploring his body. Today, Eddie gets on his knees and slips two fingers into his ass, fucks himself that way, other hand on his cock. He means to go slower but he's suddenly so hot for it, it feels like a need rather than a desire. He's nearly suffocating in the pillows but he's so close. A bead of sweat drips up his spine and over his shoulder. The apartment smells like his arousal, and sometimes Eddie thinks when Venom returns he's going to know, and that makes his cheeks burn. Eddie bites his lip and searches out his prostate, though he never can quite get the angle right. Still, the pressure of being filled is good, and he's close, he's so close.
The first time he did this, the first time Venom left his body and Eddie was alone, truly alone, he didn't like it. He almost called Venom back. There was an emptiness in him that sort of ached, reminded Eddie of hollowing out a cantaloupe. That first time, he got three fingers deep before he came.
Right now, two is good enough, more than good enough, actually. Eddie swallows heavy as his balls tighten. He opens his mouth against the pillow, ready to muffle the noise, ready to—
"What are you doing?"
He's thrown out of the moment so abruptly it feels like being punched. Eddie barely has enough of his wits to remember to let his fingers slip out gently before he collapses onto the bed, heaving. He sees Venom just there, this pulsating blob on his floor, back way too fucking early. Which is exactly what Eddie screams at him.
"I was bored!" Venom says.
"That's no reason to come back twenty minutes fucking early!"
"You were making noises!"
"Still no fucking reason!"
"I was bored!"
"V, you keep saying that and it's not making me any less goddamn mad!"
He sits up and doesn't bother to pull a sheet over his body, honestly, what's the point, just wipes the sweat from his face. He's half hard but on his way to flaccid. His surely spectacular orgasm, ruined. And Venom has no idea what he just ruined. Symbiotes don't masturbate, Eddie is pretty sure. Venom told him once they reproduced asexually and Eddie spent three days alarmed that Venom was going to spontaneously have a baby in him. He points a finger at Venom's shape on the floor.
"You broke the agreement," he says, then points to himself, because it's too weird to have a conversation with Venom when they're not actually together. "Get back in here."
"Good," Venom says.
He stretches out in tendrils and seeps and slips into his body fast and slick, just the way he normally does, only this time Eddie's body jerks, sends him straight to his hands and knees on the floor. His hips shift, then Eddie comes so hard he collapses onto his elbows and screams.
They say nothing for a full three minutes. Eddie thinks it's the longest they've gone without speaking, including the time Venom threw his strawberry milkshake out a window. He just stays there, on his elbows, nose grazing the hardwood, still trying to catch his breath.
"What was that?" Venom asks, finally, and his voice is softer, inquisitive.
"No, no, no," Eddie says, and stands.
He looks for a towel, a napkin, anything, to clean up the come on the floor. He can feel Venom everywhere in his body, Venom trying to understand, Venom poking at his nervous system and edging near his pelvis, which is still fucking aching.
"No, no, no," Eddie says again.
He rips a paper towel from the roll and wipes the come from the hardwood quickly.
"Okay," he says. "That happened. That's fine."
"That felt good," Venom says.
"No," says Eddie. "I mean yes. Yes. But what the fuck."
He leaves the paper towel on the floor a moment, mostly because he's actually weak in the knees from the sheer force of his orgasm and doesn't want to have to stand again. He's never had an orgasm that good before. Never. Eddie finally feels stable enough to grab the paper towel and throw it in the trash bin. He pulls on his briefs and a shirt, Venom strangely quiet. He needs water, a whole gallon of it. Eddie pulls the fridge open, grabs a bottle of water, and Venom's last sentence bullets into his brain.
"Hold up," he says. "You felt that?"
"I felt what you felt," Venom says. "Eddie, do all humans—"
"Oh my god," says Eddie.
He twists the cap off his water and takes two larges gulps, nearly finishes the bottle. He doesn't know if he's mortified or impressed or both. Venom seeps out of his right shoulder like a long neck and looks at him with his oversized milk eyes, toothy grin and all.
"Eddie," he says, drawing out e like a song or a tease.
Eddie tries to bat him away but Venom just moves to the other side. He really doesn't think he can take his body-mate/friend/whatever making fun of him so soon after what just happened between. But what Venom says is, "Was that part of human reproduction?"
Eddie chokes on his own spit. "Was that what? No. Did you see someone else in there with a uterus?"
"Then why do you do that alone, if not for reproduction?"
Eddie pinches the bridge of his nose. He thinks of other things. Hiking. Good coffee. A free dive off the tallest building in San Francisco. Venom is still looking right at him, so close that if he had a nose, their noses would brush. Eddie noticed early on that Venom's breath had no smell. Wasn't bad, wasn't good. Venom always just is.
"You said it felt good, right?" Eddie asks.
"It's called masturbating, V, humans do it all the time." Eddie shrugs. He can't believe he's doing this. "Because it feels good."
Venom curls back into his shoulder and settles inside him. Eddie shivers. He feels him again, a little bit like before, just not as strongly. He presses his feet against the hardwood to feel grounded. Then he feels Venom's laughter in his mind.
"Humans are so shy," he says. "You could have just said all that from the beginning."
Yes, well. If the last eight months have shown Eddie anything, it's that foresight is not his strong suit. But that's the thing with Venom. He's brash and violent and actually a little sensitive, but he cares a lot about Eddie. It isn't just in the way he's always protecting him, or calling Eddie his loser and not just a loser. Eddie can feel it, can feel him. He assumed it would just be Venom feeling his emotions but they've become so attuned to each other that Eddie feels warm when he's in bed at night, because he knows Venom is there with him. Because he knows Venom wants to be with him. And it feels like some strange calm, strange because it is manic and unattainable all at once. Eddie can't describe it at all.
"Well, that's good to know," Eddie says now. "Let's find you some asshole to eat and never talk about this again."
The thing is, they do everything together. It's impossible not to. Venom is used to Eddie feeding him "dead things," there are times he doesn't even complain about it. When there are no assholes around to eat Eddie keeps raw hamburger and steaks for him, and also, chocolate, because of the phenethylamine. If Eddie drops the shampoo bottle in the shower, Venom picks it up. Thursday nights are usually the nights Eddie shows Venom something on Netflix. Sometimes it's a classic sitcom like Frasier, or he goes for an action flick, a comedy, even a baking show. Anything he thinks Venom might like, and he simultaneously likes and hates it all. If something is out of reach, like his coffee cup or pen, Venom brings it to him. A few times, when Eddie was working on a big story for his show, he fell asleep right at his desk and woke up hours later in bed. He blinked, delirious, then heard Venom's voice in his head, "We need sleep, Eddie." and got comfortable against the pillows and told Venom to fuck off just before he passed back out.
Venom knows when to be quiet in his head (mostly). He knows what Eddie is feeling, which is sometimes really goddamn annoying, but most times he knows what Eddie is feeling before Eddie does and that's comforting, validating.
"What if you couldn't eat people anymore?" Eddie asks him one morning.
There's a marine layer hovering low over the city, everything hazy, half-alive. They're by the open window and Eddie should feel cold, but Venom keeps him mostly warm these days.
"Which of your organs do you need the least? Your brain?"
"Come on, now. At least one of us should have a brain."
"Seriously," Eddie says. "Would you have to eat me?"
"I would not eat you," Venom says, without hesitating. "I would protect us."
Eddie shivers and is warmer all at once.
It works. Sometimes it frightens him how much it works. What frightens him more is that if he had to go back to the way things were, he'd hate his life. Even if it meant Anne. So he tries not to think about it.
"Okay, Venom," Eddie says the next week. "Alone time."
He feels Venom shift in him. So far, they haven't talked about the whole masturbation/spontaneous orgasm, just like Eddie said. It's been business as usual. Eddie pulls his phone out to set the timer. Then Venom ruins everything by saying, "I can just stay now."
The phone skitters out of Eddie's hand nicks the nightstand on its way to the floor. Venom makes a little landing pad for it and Eddie snatches the phone up, scandalized.
"No," he says. "You're not staying. We have an agreement."
"But I know masturbation now!"
Eddie slams the phone on the nightstand. "That isn't the point!"
When Venom leaves his body, it's like he's sighing. He slips into the vent and Eddie hates how he feels bad. Who knew being an alien host would be so damn complicated sometimes. He waits a few minutes longer than he normally does before getting into bed. Eddie unbuttons his jeans, slides them over his legs, and palms himself through his underwear. His body is so sensitive lately—it has to be from constantly sharing it with something, his system working overtime. He hardens quickly and slips the elastic of his briefs down, strokes himself a few times to full hardness.
Then he immediately thinks of Venom moving in his body. Eddie pulls his hand away.
"Shit," he says.
That's normal, of course it's normal. After what happened last time, he should have expected that. Eddie takes a deep breath and touches himself again. At first he thinks of nothing, and there is nothing, and it's boring. He can hear the traffic outside and the hum of his refrigerator. It's the least sexy thing he's ever done. Then his mind drifts to Venom again. How he might feel if he ever wrapped himself around Eddie's cock, or held him tight so that he couldn't move, fuck into him. Eddie doesn't realize how far he's arched off the bed until he moans. He comes back to himself fast and pulls his hand away, panting. He can't think about Venom and do this. He can't. It disrupts some sort of…code or something. He exhales.
This isn't going to happen.
He redresses, splashes some water on his face, and knocks on the wall.
"Come on back."
Venom filters through the vent.
"It's fine," Eddie says. "Come back."
He just wants Venom back inside him. The absence of him is more pronounced, unsettling. Venom reaches out for him, gets his shoulders first before fusing right into his body like a snap. Eddie is on the ground before he can even think, so sensitive he's aware of nothing but what's about to happen.
Except it's too late. He comes hard, maybe harder than the first time, and bites into his fist to try and control the moan that rushes out. When he comes back to himself, he hears Venom talking to him.
"Eddie," he's saying. "Eddie, my Eddie. Are we okay?"
Eddie nods. He thinks he nods.
"That feels very good."
"I know," Eddie says, and his voice is so raw it's like he's swallowed a cup of sand.
He unbuttons his pants and pulls them down with his underwear in one go, kicks them off and bunches them in his hand so he can toss them in the laundry basket. Venom keeps trying to talk to him. Eddie is trying to very, very hard to ignore him. He puts his jeans and underwear in the laundry, he goes in the bathroom, he turns on the shower.
"Eddie!" Venom says, so loud he shakes his whole body.
Eddie presses his fingers to his temples and cringes. This is the big downside to having an alien host.
"Nope," Eddie says. "Remember the whole not talking about it thing? We're still doing that."
"Not talking about it."
Eddie steps under the spray, aware that he's blushing all the way down to this chest. He knows Venom can feel how mortified he is, which is probably why he does drop it. They shower in relative silence. Eddie drops the shampoo bottle like he almost always does. Venom picks it up for him. They're quiet until post-shower when Venom says he's hungry, so Eddie gives him some raw hamburger and Valentine's chocolates he found discounted at a drugstore.
After that, things get awkward.
Eddie thinks they might be fighting. He doesn't know and he refuses to bring it up. They talk but it's stilted. It feels like they're dancing around the issue, which makes Eddie wonder if they'll spend the next month this way, awkwardly not talking about the thing Eddie refuses to talk about. He goes to Muir Woods for a show segment and Venom makes snarky comments about eating the tourists, but their energy is so tense it's hard for Eddie to laugh or even chide him. He stutters twice during the interview.
They chase down a murderer a few days later and Venom is outright savage to the man, bats him around like a cat. The man screams, "What do you want? What do you want?" and Venom tongues his whole head. They normally don't play with their food.
"We want to eat you! Do you get it? Do you get it?!"
He swallows him in one bite.
The thing is, if they talked about it, Eddie would have to admit that he's definitely a lot attracted to Venom. And he's not ready to talk about that, both to Venom and to himself. He can't imagine the conversation going anywhere but to a bad, even more awkward place. It's not like Eddie can just leave. He'll get over this, eventually. Venom must feel something is off in him but he surely doesn't understand the concept of attraction, so if Eddie can hold out long enough, the whole thing will just blow over.
He meets Anne for coffee and she senses almost immediately that something is off.
"Is everything okay?" she asks. "With Venom?"
Eddie stares at her, steam from their coffee rising between them. They're catty-cornered at the bar of a coffee shop, backs turned away from hipsters and business professionals. He and Anne face glass windows and see people shuffling around the city. Eddie's lucky, he knows, that Anne still talks to him, that she's still friends with him, after everything he did. He fucked things up with her because he didn't think. Eddie doesn't want to do that again, with Venom.
"What? Yeah, we've just been busy," Eddie says.
"We have not been busy," Venom says.
Eddie ignores him. Anne sips her coffee.
"Have you ever noticed that you use we when you talk about Venom?" she asks.
"We are we," Venom says, and is ignored again.
Eddie gives himself more time to answer by drinking his coffee. Anne prefers this coffee shop, not him. She likes the beans here, or something. They draw hearts with the latte foam and Eddie thinks it's ridiculous, but he likes making her happy.
"Well, yeah," he says after a minute, mouth coffee-warm. "I mean, sometimes it's just faster."
"God." Anne laughs into her coffee. "Sorry. It just makes you sound like a couple, is all."
Eddie can't stop the thought, the mental image of when Venom came back into his body and he came so hard it took his legs out from under him. He flushes immediately, stomach sucking in. Venom is oddly silent.
"Well, thanks for that," he says. "Really. Truly."
He grabs his coffee mug and clinks it against hers.
Anne throws her head back and laughs.
The next week, Eddie doesn't ask Venom to leave. He's been working on a story about illegal dumping near the wharf and decides he'll just keep working. A few hours in, Venom pulls partly out of him, curls to face him, milky eyes reflecting Eddie's face.
"Alone time?" he asks.
Eddie swallows and looks down at his notes. They're on the couch, comfortable. They've just started to get comfortable again. An hour ago, they bickered about source legality, since Venom suddenly thinks he's an investigative reporter just because he's got one for a host.
"Maybe not anymore," Eddie says.
Venom swims into his line of vision again. Eddie wonders what it would be like not to have bones. Venom stares at him.
Eddie taps his pen against his notebook. It's probably better to get this over with now. He shuts his laptop and pushes his papers aside.
"I think it's going to be the same, every time. So, it's uh. There's that. And I just. I can't ask you to do this, V."
Eddie exhales, though he feels like he can barely get any air. He waits for Venom to say something, do something, anything. All he does is watch him, surprisingly still, and Eddie starts to think this was a mistake. He should play it off as a joke, something they can laugh about.
"Eddie," Venom says suddenly. "You are not only a loser but an idiot."
"You are my loser, my idiot. What did Anne say?"
Eddie blinks, stutters.
"That charging one dollar for oat milk was ridiculous."
"What else, Eddie?"
Eddie swallows, says, "That I made us sound like a couple."
"Us, yes. We are we, Eddie. What do we want?"
Eddie swallows past an impossible thickness in his throat. "Venom…"
"We want to fuck, Eddie."
All the air rushes out of his lungs. His body tightens, relaxes. He feels a desire that is entirely his own, then underneath that, desire that is unmistakably Venom's. It's almost the same desire he feels when Venom is hungry for human flesh, and for a moment Eddie imagines himself devoured whole, only this desire is stronger, heavier, sits right there in his gut and tickles at the back of his skull.
"Do you want me to fuck you, Eddie?"
"…Yes," Eddie says, and it feels good to say it. To admit it. "Fuck, yes, please."
Venom shifts back inside him a moment, then in the next, tendrils of him are removing Eddie's sweatshirt, his pants. Eddie doesn't know if he should help or not. He goes hot all over just seeing it. Venom pulls his pants off so violently Eddie smacks his head on the back of the couch.
"Well don't rip my pants—"
Venom doesn't, though he does rip his underwear. Eddie doesn't care, not when Venom pushes out of his chest, mouth open, tongue lolling out wet and long.
"Eddie," he says. "You blush all over."
"On the bed," Eddie says, mortified and somehow more turned on. "Just shut up and get us on the bed."
The times he allowed himself to imagine it, Eddie really thought Venom would fuck him the way he eats—quick and brutal. But once they get on the bed, Venom slows down, handles him with a possessive tenderness that has Eddie trembling. He becomes near solid behind Eddie, the two of them propped up, Eddie cradled against him while Venom holds his legs up and open with three fat tendrils. Eddie can barely get a grip on anything—the bed, himself, Venom. He thought they'd need lube, but Venom is slick and he forms a tentacle the size of a finger and slips into Eddie's hole. Eddie watches it, feels it, the movement unlike anything he's ever known, and throws his head back against Venom, his body sinking deeper into him.
"I've wanted you like this," Venom says, voice somehow both very close and far away.
"More," he says. "Fuck. More."
He looks down and watches Venom's tentacle fatten inside him, the rest of his sliding over Eddie's legs and stomach. Another tentacle forms and winds up his cock gently. Eddie feels hysterical, watching it. He arches when Venom starts to thrust gently inside of him.
"Oh fuck," he says. "Oh god."
He doesn't want to close his eyes. He can't stop watching.
"Feeling your pleasure feels good, Eddie. We feel good."
Eddie nods, this unexpected whimper bubbling up his throat. Venom starts fucking him a little faster and Eddie does what he can to work his hips into it. He feels trapped by Venom's form in a good way, safe. Venom's cock grows again. Eddie feels so impossibly full he doesn't know what to even ask for. Venom wipes at the pre-come on his cock and Eddie shudders, nerves already hypersensitive. But he wants it harder. He wants Venom to fuck him so hard he can't fucking stand it anymore.
"Come on, just—" Eddie tries to push his hips up but Venom has him roped down. "V, come on."
"Use your words, Eddie."
"Fuck me," Eddie says. "Please, come on. Harder. I can take it, I want it—"
"Eddie," Venom says, and there's something possessive and reverent in his voice at the same time.
Then he flips Eddie into his stomach and is all over him. Eddie barely has time to grab onto the covers before Venom is really fucking him, hard and fast, tendrils wrapped tight around his hips. He feels like he's weighing Eddie down completely, and Eddie is pressed against the mattress with Venom still holding onto his cock, tendrils teasing over his nipples. Eddie pushes back into everything Venom gives him, voice steadily growing louder and more uneven.
"Is this how you imagined I would fuck you?" Venom asks.
"Is this how you imagined it?"
Venom's laugh reverberates in him. He snakes around Eddie's neck and just holds there, applying no real pressure at all. Eddie can feel him moving everywhere, both inside and around him now. Eddie spreads his legs wider and nearly sobs when Venom pulls all the way out just to slip slowly back in again and keep fucking him. He brushes against his prostate and Eddie screams. Venom pauses.
Eddie takes a heaving breath. "Prostate."
"Humans are very interesting."
Venom alternates between pressing against his prostate and avoiding it all together, leaves Eddie on the edge of something devastating, eyes squeezed shut. Some part of Venom traces his hole where his stretched around his tentacle cock.
"You look good around me," he says, and Eddie chokes on his own moan.
He feels Venom creep up his neck and jaw, opens his eyes in time to see another tentacle, kind of the like the one Venom is fucking him with, moving towards his mouth. Eddie doesn't wait for Venom to ask, he just goes for it, opens his mouth and takes him in, moans around the girth of him. He's already drooling for it, feels filthy and fucked out and wonderful. He tongues the part of Venom in his mouth and loves the way he moves in him, testing the shape of his mouth. He can't place the taste. It isn't like skin, but he likes the flavor of Venom. Eddie moans into it, stuffed from both ends, so close to orgasm his mind is just whiteness.
Venom slips from his mouth and Eddie gasps, eyes snapping open. He starts brushing over Eddie's prostate in quicker succession. Eddie's toes curl and his fingers rips into the bed covers. Then he feels something slip over his hand, and when he looks down, Venom has formed a hand and laid it over his own, laced their fingers together.
"Eddie," he hears. "My Eddie."
When he looks up again Venom is right there, the face of him. Then he kisses Eddie. It's like in the forest, when he was in Anne, only it's not, because it's just him. It's just them, and Venom is fucking him and now he's kissing him and he is Eddie's, and Eddie is his. Venom pulls back right as Eddie is coming. He feels himself tighten, then he comes with Venom's name on his fattened lips, Venom's hand still over his own. It's almost too much. His body is wracked with spasms, then locked so tight in the moment he can do nothing but ride it out, mouth open, helpless. When it's over, he collapses back down onto the mattress. Venom caresses his back, slips out of his hole, and pulls the comforter up over him.
"Oh fuck," Eddie says.
He reaches for Venom, but Venom just wraps around him like Eddie is hysterical and need to be calmed. Like he wants to hold him or maybe must.
"Go to sleep," he says.
"Yes, dear," says Eddie, eyes already half shut.
He wakes up hours later incredibly thirsty. Eddie stumbles into the kitchen and drinks half a bottle of water before he remembers that he and Venom fucked earlier in the day. He's still very naked. He still feels stretched from Venom's cock in his asshole, remembers the taste of him in his mouth. And none of this bothers him.
"We are hungry," Venom says, and Eddie jumps.
"Yeah, well, we're also filthy. We need a shower."
They take a long shower, Eddie lost in the memory of earlier, the feeling. He knows Venom feels it too, because he's quiet, gently rippling in his body. But it's not strange, not awkward. They are normal, as they should be. Eddie lets his fingers slip between his cheeks and teases one into his hole, still loosened, presses into the slight ache there. Venom lifts from his chest, stretches over his shoulders like some odd version of a hug, snug against him.
"Eddie," he says, lethargic, almost mumbled.
Eddie brings his arms around him. "I know," he says.
The water is getting cold, now.
"When can we do that again?" Venom asks.
Eddie laughs. "Maybe not tonight. How about in the morning?"
"Good," Venom says. Then, "I like being inside you."
Eddie wants to say something snarky, but all that comes out is, "I like it too."
He towels off, feeds Venom some chocolate, and gets back to work. Venom eventually pushes a bowl of reheated takeout noodles towards him. Eddie thanks him with a nod, then Venom produces a fork before Eddie has a chance to realize that he forgot to give him one. They sit there in the best kind of silence, occasionally bickering, rain just starting to move in from the Pacific.
Eddie feels the ghost of Venom's hand on his for the rest of the day.