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What You Mean To Me

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It starts with the sweating. At first Eddie is wondering if his AC unit is shot, but it’s still rumbling away in the window when he goes to inspect it, shirt sticking to his chest.

 

Then the sickness. He can tell he’s feverish, dizzy, almost like a hangover but so much worse. Something niggles in his mind, something like hope, but he can’t focus too much because there’s a sharp pain in his stomach that commands his full attention.

 

The pain is nausea and piercing aches that come in waves, that within an hour give way to a ravenous hunger. That slight niggle in his mind gives way to full blown recognition, but it’s a thought like a kite in the wind and he’s so hungry it slips from his grasp. All he can do is shove anything within reach into his mouth.

 

He tries bread, crackers, some old chinese takeout, nothing does anything to relieve it. Then he spots the pair of chocolate bars sitting on top of the fridge, and just smelling them does something to the alarming pit in his belly, quelling the urgency. He unwraps one and takes a bite, rather than devouring it whole. It helps.

 

His mind clears a bit, and there is that thought again, that realization staring him in the face.

 

“Venom?”

 

The face staring back at him does nothing to respond, merely takes another bite out of the chocolate bar in his hand.

 

“Venom!” Eddie demands, as though he won’t believe the alien is actually there in front of him unless he speaks.

 

“Eat now, talk later.” Venom punctuates by doing just that, barely missing Eddie’s fingers grasping the wrapper.

 

“You’re alive.” It’s a statement, but there’s a question in his voice, a hint of stunned comprehension.

 

“So observant.” Venom mocks, brown, sugar coated saliva dripping from his teeth, looking not unlike Venom himself.

 

“I thought you died, man.” Eddie explains. “I felt empty. I didn’t think you could - how did you survive the fire?”

 

“We get hurt, we do not die. It takes much more to kill us. But we must recover.”

 

“Is that so?” Eddie responds a bit absently, still trying to wrap his mind around Venom being there. Something clicks after a moment though, and he shakes himself. “Wait, recover? Like, you’re still injured?”

 

“We are weak, like when we first met, but worse. We must eat and we must rest.”

 

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Eddie asks, a touch of concern coloring his tone.

 

“The chocolate was very nice.” Venom admits, sounding sincerely appreciative.

 

Eddie chuckles. “Well that seems manageable.”

 


 

 

An hour later finds them both travelling to a corner store. Eddie avoids anywhere he regularly frequents, aware he and Venom haven’t worked out their method of communication to the point they won’t look like a basket case in public, talking while only Eddie can be heard. He also doesn’t trust Venom not to pop out and eat one of his friends when he’s feeling this hungry.

 

Eddie hunches into his hoodie, hoping the fabric might muffle his voice. “Anything look good here, buddy?”

 

Venom is quiet, considering. “The man behind the counter might do the trick.”

 

“Frozen chicken patties it is!” Eddie says glibly, as though Venom had not spoken.

 

“No, wait!” Venom demands, realizing Eddie was only going to be so lenient. “Tater tots are also nice.”

 

“See, that’s not so hard, is it?” Eddie says. “Nice and reasonable.”

 

Venom grumbles something, but keeps it muffled in the back of his mind. Eddie rolls his eyes. Drama queen. He thinks really hard and pointedly, but it doesn’t seem to affect Venom.

 

He goes to the register with a few frozen bags and way too many chocolate bars for any normal, single guy, and avoids eye contact guiltily with the guy at the checkout. While he’s waiting for the poor dude to individually scan his little mountain of candy, he spots something in another aisle.

 

“Hold on, lemme just-” he cuts off, taking a quick stride over to grab a can of something, and adds a box to it on his way back, depositing them onto the counter with an apologetic quirk of his mouth.

 

When they get back to his apartment, Venom prods Eddie for what he added to the purchase.

 

“You’ll see.” Eddie chides. “It’ll be great, fix you right up.”

 

Venom flutters under Eddie’s skin, impatient but willing to wait. Eddie pops open the can and turns on the stove, and Venom just waits. He usually wouldn’t tolerate anything cooked, but Eddie seems sure that this is going to help him - or at the very least, like he needs to try it, and Venom...enjoys the feeling of Eddie’s concern and his desire to help. Does the courtesy of not even prodding Eddie’s mind for the answers.

 

When a timer goes off, Eddie pours the stuff  into a bowl, and he brings it over to the couch with a little satisfied sound, like he’s presenting it.

 

Venom pulls his head out, Eddie clearly wanting him to try it. He proffers a spoon, and Venom understands he’s meant to taste it like humans do, instead of immediately devouring it all for sustenance like any reasonable being.

 

He does, and is silent. “So?” Eddie prods, wanting something.

 

“What is it?” Venom asks instead.

 

“Chicken soup. It’s what we humans feed each other when we’re sick or recovering or whatever. It’s what Anne…” Eddie trails off, a hint of moroseness leaking into the conversation.

 

“It is good.”

 

“Oh, good. I’m usually shit at cooking-” Eddie cuts off as he shoves another spoonful into his own mouth, and pinches his face in distaste. “You fucking liar, this is disgusting.”

 

Venom rumbles in amusement. “We like the sentiment, Eddie.”

 

“Well aren’t you just...soft and mushy.” Eddie says like it’s an insult, wiping soup off his face.

 

“You are the one making us chicken soup.” Venom observes.

“Yeah, well…” Eddie reasons with a hint of a grin. “I guess it’s sorta like a self interest.”

 

Venom laughs. “Sorta.”

 


 

 

Venom likes being doted on. He likes that Eddie goes out of his way to make him comfortable if it’s ‘within reason,’ and that he doesn’t shy away from him.

 

With all of Venom’s other hosts, and even all his time with Eddie previously, there had been some cringing within the mind. Something there that registered a foreign presence and grasped for distance, shutting itself off with some level of fear, disgust, caution.

 

Eddie’s doesn’t, now. His mind prods at Venom, invading his space, to check in on him.

 

And, well, if Venom plays “sick” a little longer than necessary so Eddie will keep doing it, will keep caring ….

 

Eddie’s still nice. Eddie lets him without saying anything about knowing that Venom is putting it on. He pats his own shoulder and says “okay, buddy.” when Venom demands something ‘to get better.’

 

So they are happy. They function congruantly. They are in symbiosis.

 

Venom finds more things to love about Earth, like TV. He likes the action movies, but Eddie changes the channel every time they’re on.

 

“Bad influence,” he mutters, and Venom knows he is thinking about parents and children and he would express his extreme offense to the comparison if he didn’t know that Eddie also compares his rage to ‘pouting.’

 

So Venom sits through black and white sitcoms instead, absorbing human culture and pretending like he doesn’t laugh so Eddie might flip back to the action films to please him. He doesn’t.

 

Funny thing about those TV shows, Venom notices. The human relationships. They were infinitely more complex than he had previously realized. Some of them he can see Eddie and Anne in...and it makes sense. But Eddie is not with Anne. Despite mirroring the feelings of the husbands on TV, Eddie does not have Anne. That doesn’t make sense.

 

Anne is not there to make him coffee on weekdays, or breakfast on weekends. She is not there on the other side of the bed when Eddie wakes up. She is not there to offer conversation at the end of Eddie’s work days.

But Venom is; and there is absolutely nothing on these human shows that replicates his bond with Eddie. There seems to be no human protocol for what they are at all.

 

Part of the complexity of human emotions is learning to sort them himself. It might have helped if Eddie was a little more in tune with his own feelings; but he was not. Eddie tended to shove them back in a corner of his mind, unexamined, left for Venom to ponder as he experiences the second hand remnants of them.

 

Part of the allure of being bonded to a human is the chemicals produced by their emotions, and being able to secondhand experience them is not a drawback either.

 

Eddie in particular is absolutely intoxicating; when Venom had first bonded with him, he had been desperate, lonely, an isolated mind begging for another. Even if only in his subconscious, Eddie had welcomed him in like no other before.

 

Now that he is conscious, he actively carves out a space for Venom. It is as though Eddie thinks - no, feels that he belongs there, and makes sure Venom feels welcome. And doesn’t that just make everything he feels so much tastier?

 

Eddie’s emotions are mostly the strongest around Anne (lending partially to why Venom likes her so much.) Whether elated or depressed, she always draws the most out of him.

 

Venom thinks Eddie’s reactions to her might have been stronger when they first bonded, but he can’t quite tell because they’re so much stronger with her in comparison to everyone else.

 

Well, almost everyone else, Venom observes with a self satisfied purr.

 

Eddie had also developed the most delicious array of responses to Venom. All he had to do was materialize every once in a while and contribute to little mundane things around the house. Things that Anne used to do, Venom notes with a touch of jealousy.

 

Pop a tentacle out while Eddie’s cooking breakfast and turn on the coffee maker, and Venom gets overwhelmed by a wave of fond gratitude. It’s nice, and it has the bonus effect of Eddie referring to him as “parasite” a lot less.

 

If he manifests from Eddie’s shoulder to grab the soap and wash his back while he’s in the shower, he’s treated to amused contentment. He likes that a little more, and he also loves the feel of warm water.

 

He reads Eddie’s articles and provides suggestions whenever he can, either based on what he can find within Eddie’s own mind that Eddie can’t quite access himself, or from things Eddie had failed to observe that Venom had catalogued away. That gifts him appreciative respect, which sets his own feelings rushing with pride.

But the sweetest, most alluring ones have to be what he tastes whenever Eddie goes down to bed.

At first, Venom could taste how much he missed Anne the most then, and it often affected his ability to sleep. It didn’t really take much to help.

 

Eddie likes contact, so at first Venom had collected a bit of himself in Eddie’s hand and mirrored the shape of it, interlocking their fingers. Eddie had been shocked at first, but then he had squeezed it and brought it closer.

 

“Thank you.” He whispered into it.

 

Venom couldn’t quite put a name to the emotions Eddie was feeding him then, but he knew he wanted more. The next logical step, then: create more contact.

 

The next night he spread to Eddie’s entire arm, enveloping him in a pseudo-self hug. Eddie tasted the same then, but stronger. It was incredibly good, something he had not known back on his home planet. The concept of hugs was not something that made sense for them, which he came to conclude was a very disappointing thing.

 

The night after that, he pulled himself out of Eddie, slipping from his back to form his own copy of a human torso, sliding an arm around Eddie’s middle. It was even better that way, more like a real, human hug. The emotions it evoked were so tantalizing, something unnameable, tinged with distinct bliss. By far the best thing he could possibly be offered by Eddie. Venom does it every night now, whether Eddie is missing Anne or not.

 

He knows how to keep Eddie happy. And more so, he wants to keep Eddie happy. That’s more than he can attribute to Anne currently, which he figures places him solidly in front of her. In competition of what exactly, he doesn’t think about.

 

So host-and-symbiote, they are not just; Eddie has grown to calling them friends, and very aptly at that. Venom has never had a friend before, but he cherishes being Eddie’s. So much so, he doesn’t think he could ever have it like this with another person. Ever.

 

Eddie likes to do things with him that “friends do,” more than just watching TV. Sometimes he pulls out an old gaming system and he teaches Venom how to manipulate the buttons on the controller to create simulated results on the television. His favorite is one called Grand Theft Auto, but Eddie only lets him play it as a reward for being especially good about not eating people.

 

His other favorite, to Eddie’s chagrin, is a dancing game.

 

“That’s not even mine, one of Anne’s little nieces left it at the house once and I somehow ended up with it.” He complains.

 

If Eddie is ever too unwilling to participate, Venom has no qualms about taking over his limbs and doing it entirely himself. When Eddie does cooperate, he usually enjoys it, working out a system where Venom controls his arms while Eddie controls his legs.

 

Venom likes it because it is an excellent workout that helps Eddie keep in shape with his now more sedentary job, and it helps them hone their symbiotic control of their body.

 

“I will kill you if we ever get caught doing this by someone else.” Eddie hisses at him, bobbing along to a Katy Perry song.

 

Venom only laughs, loud and long.

 

He likes to laugh. He never used to laugh, but Eddie draws it out of him, more and more. He does the same for Eddie, too. He relishes Eddie’s smiles. Little upticks in Eddie’s happiness has the equivalent of dashing salt over a meal to enhance the flavors; but Venom suspects he would enjoy it all the same even if it didn’t.

 

Eddie has a nice mouth. They have a nice mouth. Venom thinks about it sometimes, recalling their shared kiss in the forest. He likes it best when it’s turned up at the corners, pleased over something he’s said or done. He likes it second best in that memory, pressed against his own.

 

If there is one thing Venom learns from watching TV, it’s the Earthly context of kissing. What kissing means, what it means to want to kiss someone, when it’s appropriate.

 

Venom has never before had to navigate wanting something emotionally from a host other than...well, a host. Feeling himself as though there is something else he wants from Eddie...well, that’s a little confusing. And a lot human. He only seems to be experiencing more and more human things, these days.

 

And he can’t up and just kiss Eddie - he can sense his mind, after all, and he knows that out of the blue kissing him would shock and possibly upset him; that he still wants to kiss Anne, and he is not Anne. He wants to avoid Eddie’s dissatisfaction more than he wants to kiss Eddie.

 

He’s finding himself wanting a lot of things. More and more, as the days pass. As he begins filling up the spaces in Eddie’s domestic life where Anne used to be, he finds himself becoming a little bitter about all the ones he doesn’t. There are small things he can do here and there - a little bit of an intimate touch here, but platonic enough that Eddie doesn’t wave him off. A pet-name there, something Eddie can laugh at like it’s a joke.

 

It sets him on edge. Feeling desire, a hunger he knows he can’t fulfill, he doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s distressing, and he’s never been distressed like this. Never not known what to do. Never been to the point that he feeds back his own confusion and unhappiness back into his host. Now that’s been bonded to Eddie though, there are a lot of firsts.

 


 

 

Eddie doesn’t know what’s wrong with Venom. Sure, he had been recovering for a few weeks, but he thought he’d been improving. They had been improving. Things have been….good.

 

And then everything shifted. It was like all of a sudden, something wasn’t enough for Venom. He is discontented, something bubbling under the surface of Eddie’s skin that is not his own, something akin to hunger but it does not seem to be so easily sated.


It doesn’t stop Eddie from trying. He allows Venom to go hunt every night for a week in hopes it will quell the feeling. If anything, it only seems to make it worse.

 

Eddie is scared to ask Venom what it is. Something in the back of his mind tells him it is because Venom is getting tired of his host, and Eddie cannot face that truth. Fuck it, after all he’s called the symbiote a “parasite,” Eddie is determined to leech as much time bonded with him as possible, like a fucking hypocrite.

 

He knows there is no living without him. He’s too valuable to Eddie. “A crutch,” his once therapist might have called him, but fuck her, what would she know? There is no precedent for what they are, no way to really know if it’s abnormal for Eddie to feel utter despair at the idea of not being needed by a pile of black alien goo.

 

Fuck.

 

There is one worse thing, though. The thing Eddie carefully treads around so he doesn’t think about. The idea of Venom sacrificing himself for him….Eddie cringes, recalling. The flames, the goodbye. It hurts him worse to think that Venom might be needing something he can’t offer and suffering without it, sacrificing himself, than to imagine being without him. But it’s a close call.

 

His selfishness can only last so long before there are consequences. He learned it harshly with Anne, and Venom...Venom means too much to him for that to be a repeated situation.

 

“You know,” he says, reluctantly dragging the words from his mouth.”You can...tell me, if you need something.”

 

Venom, who had been doing his familiar swirl-dance in Eddie’s stomach, his signature flurry of activity that let Eddie know he was feeling restless, comes to an instantaneous stop. He ceases any movement at all, and sinks a little in Eddie’s belly, or so he thinks for a moment until he registers what he actually is feeling is dread - both his own and what Venom is bleeding over into him.

 

Eddie swallows past the thickness forming in his throat. “Is it something that bad?” he tries for casual, maybe teasing, but it comes out flat and heavy.

 

Venom still hasn’t responded, so Eddie keeps going. “It’s okay if you need something, or…” he pauses, giving himself the mental support to finish the sentence, “...some one else. I don’t want you to-”

 

“No.” Venom’s interruption is harsh, and hurt sounding.

 

Eddie, feeling a little miffed at his very difficult attempt at being considerate being shut down so quickly, raises his voice slightly.

 

“I can tell there’s something not right. Let me tell you, maybe you’re happy wasting away into a little ball of irritation, but I’m not.”

 

Venom wriggles a little, and Eddie would compare the feeling, in his chest now, to a reel. He immediately feels bad.

 

“Look, I didn’t mean - I only want you to have what you need, and I can tell-”

 

Venom doesn’t let him finish speaking for the second time. “There is something we need. Something we cannot get from you.”

 

Eddie feels like he’s just been slapped in the face with exactly everything he had been fearing.

 

“But,” continues Venom, “We do not wish to leave Eddie. Eddie is mine.”

 

There’s a little relief in that, and Eddie breathes out a long sigh. “Okay. Okay, okay…” he mumbles, running his hands through his hair.

 

“A compromise, then. How about you….leave, for a little. Find another host to see if they can get you what you need, and then...come back?” he offers, and although it’s a much better prospect than the worst case scenario he was dreading, it doesn’t feel much better, and he can hear it in his voice.

 

Venom seems to be pondering it. He seeps from Eddie’s hands, collecting in his palms, and Eddie faces his hands upwards. Little black tendrils sprout up, joining, twisting together until they form the base of a neck that forms his familiar, shiny, black head, white eyes oddly expressive for being so blank.


Venom looks like whatever is about to come out of his mouth is distasteful when he finally speaks.

“That is not what we want, but maybe it should be considered.”

 

Eddie’s eyes squeeze shut and dammit he is not going to cry, that’s fucking pathetic and sad and it’s over nothing really - and then he has control of himself again, if only just.

 

“Maybe we should,” his tongue darts out to wet his lips, his whole mouth suddenly dry with trepidation. “Go ahead and try. See what happens tonight.”

 

Eddie doesn’t want to live with the anxiety of it coming, any longer than he has to; he wants to get it over with. Venom probably senses it, as strong as it is.

 

“Fine.” Venom’s utter lack of enthusiasm, in fact the complete opposite of it, is Eddie’s only comfort. It isn’t much, feeling almost physically sick as the black ooze of Venom’s form rises from his fingertips, collecting into a more solid form as Venom detaches, bit by bit, from Eddie.

 

When he separates entirely, Eddie feels like all the air has been sucked from his lungs. It’s almost like...shock. He doesn’t process it as Venom says “I will be back soon.” He doesn’t process it when Venom presses something to his forehead, something between a caress and a kiss, with his shapeless mass. He doesn’t process anything, until Venom slips through his open window and is entirely gone.

 

Then the pain hits him. Right through his heart, as images of Riot’s sharp protrusion ripping through him flash by. He can’t breathe, and it feels like his lungs are filling, and Venom is gone...he won’t save him, oh god Venom had died for him and he’s all alone again, he can’t -

 

And then Venom is right back, soothing over his skin, melding back into him, right where he should be, and Eddie’s heartbeat starts slowing down as he reorients himself with reality.

 

Eddie realizes he must have screamed for Venom to return, and curled into a ball at some point, because as his muscles relax, his posture does as well and he goes from the fetal position to sitting up, head braced on his knees.

 

The intensity of it all takes a while to wind down, and Eddie already feels a numb embarrassment and confusion crawl over him at his behavior.

 

“What,” he manages, still struggling a bit for air, “the fuck was that?”

 

Venom is partially manifested, and Eddie registers that he’s got tentacles all over, little arms wrapping around him and holding tight in an approximation of an alien hug, and one reaches up to brush his cheek.

 

“I believe that was what you humans call a ‘panic attack.’”

 

“Jesus.” Eddie curses. “I fucking thought I could manage to not show off what a loser I’m being over this, fuck me.” He sounds self deprecating, reaching to wipe at his nose with his sleeve.

“We are aware that you are a loser,“ Venom says, uncharacteristically tame with his teasing. “But this was not your fault.”

He sounds vaguely apologetic, as much as he can get. “We had not considered that the bonding process had been so complete that such quick separation would cause withdrawal.”

 

Eddie laughs, but it’s wobbly. He pats Venom where the thickest part of him is pooled, on his chest. “That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me, and thanks for trying, but at least some of that is on me. You know, human brains and dealing with trauma.”

 

He looks down, at Venom blanketing him, and he laughs again, voice edging a bit too close to hysteria for his comfort. “Guess you could say I’ve been using you like a security blanket so I don’t have to deal with it. Which is funny, because you’re-” he raises his arms and Venom drips off them, looking a good deal like a blanket for something so slimy.

 

“We will not be leaving again. Eddie needs us.” Venom says, no amusement in his tone.

 

Eddie can’t help but smile. “As much as I appreciate that, bud, that just puts us right back where we started.”

 

“No. Now we know that all we need is to be with Eddie. We are better.”

 

Eddie pats at Venom again, doubtful, but far too distraught from that experience to argue otherwise.

 

He really doesn’t think he can live without Venom now, and that’s a lot to sort through and deal with.

 


 


What Eddie doesn’t get is why Venom is so attached to him. It doesn’t make any sense. He should be looking for the prime host - and if there is something Eddie can’t offer, well...that can’t be him, can it?

 

But Venom is insistent. He hadn’t lied, and the feelings he had been emitting are somehow cut off; but Eddie doesn’t believe for a second anything is actually better. He doesn’t answer Eddie’s questions about what he needs, he just reiterates his desire to help Eddie. Which is nice, yeah, but it drives home those earlier feelings Eddie was having about the tables turning and him becoming the leech.

 

It’s unsettling to be the one having to be experienced in the relationship, setting the boundaries and guidelines and getting fed up when his partner is not being communicative (and wow, he really is a leech, god fucking bless Annie and what she put up with from him.)

 

It makes sense, being that it’s his body and his planet, but still; it’s a level of maturity he hasn’t had to approach before, and it leaves him bewildered. Especially seeing as he’s not the best with communication himself; he’s a chronic “actually, it’s fine”-er, and his driver’s license lists him as an occupant of the state of Denial. He’s always had a quick mind and slippery deflections around uncomfortable topics has always been his preferential route.

 

It has to change now. He knows openness and honesty and, fuck , responsibility, are the keys to maintaining relationships; and he’s unwilling to fuck whatever this is up with Venom just because they’re following the pattern of every relationship he’s ever had. If it happens, it’s not going to be on him.

 

He tries to get Venom to process some of this - he focuses the idea of it at him, hard as he can, but it doesn’t seem to do much. In fact, he’s starting to wonder if Venom really has any kind of read on his thoughts at all, as much as he claims to.

 

It takes about two days of this for him to realize he’s still kind of deflecting by virtually tossing pebbles at a brick wall and throwing his hands in the air when it does nothing. He’s not stupid, he just has a lifetime of...indirectness to work around. Which really, is ironic given his bluntness towards total strangers in his line of work.

 

“So….” he finally draws out, putting it off a few seconds more, as much as he can. “You know we gotta talk about this at some point, right?”

 

“No.”

 

“What do you mean, ‘no’? We have to talk about it.”

 

“No, I don’t know that we have to.”

 

“Well now you’re just being difficult.” Eddie huffs. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but having a hard time yourself makes it all the worse when your partner is equally as unwilling.

 

His hands curl around the back of his head, which has come to be their cue for Venom to manifest, usually letting the symbiote pool around his fingers to slide him over his face, forming their mask.

 

Instead Eddie lets Venom gather in his palms and he twines strands of him around his hands until he coats his forearms, then he pulls them around himself in a semblance of a hug.

 

“Listen, I can...tell that you’re real skittish about whatever it is. But like, I’m the last person who is gonna judge you for whatever it is, I promise.”

 

He can tell Venom wavers, considering. “You will not be pleased. It may become a hindrance to our symbiosis.”

 

With a dawning clarity, Eddie begins to understand. It’s not that Venom didn’t understand about communication, it’s that he fears they’ll fall apart worse by telling him. Something inside him pinches at the thought, and he scrambles to reassure him.

 

“I let you bite heads off, buddy. If there is something you think that could drive us apart, I’d be shocked to hear it.” It kind of terrifies him how easily he says it, how acceptable he makes it sound that they have a relationship where eating people is a normal compromise.

The idea that this is Venom’s concern now, that Eddie will become dissatisfied with him or something, makes him feel all the worse for telling him to leave before.

 

Venom’s head sprouts up from his hands, a neck following so he can rise to eye level with Eddie.

 

“Are you sure you will not regret asking?”

 

Eddie swallows. “Yes.”

 

Venom kisses him.

 

It’s just like in the woods, smooth, full of tongue, and on instinct Eddie’s hands fly up to grasp something. Venom materializes a bit in the space between his hands so he can.

It’s….something. Not what he was expecting, but at the same time...maybe it was? It feels like somehow they were going to end up here soon. He doesn’t regret it. He’d be lying if he said he’s never thought about it.

He opens his mouth freely to it, which makes Venom press in more.

 

Venom is wrenching something from him, as the kiss only deepens, something heavy and thick that makes his mind swim a little. He grasps Venom tighter, but Venom starts to pull back instead, withdrawing his tongue with a wet noise, and stares Eddie down like he’s gauging his reaction.

 

Eddie stares back. “Was that it?”

 

For once Venom has nothing at all to say.

 

Eddie doesn’t know how to respond. It’s….okay, so it’s a little shift in their dynamic, but….”What were you so worried about?” he asks. “We’ve done that before.”

 

“Not without Anne.” Venom sounds uncertain. “I want there to be no Anne, in your mind, in your dreams, only us . Venom.”

 

Eddie blinks. “There isn’t. And for the record, I didn’t know Annie was there that first time.”


Venom shifts in his palms, his mass reducing back down. “What does that mean?”

 

And all of a sudden, Venom seems so small. He’s a little puddle of goo that needs someone else’s organs to function, the only of his kind on a whole planet, and now he’s got, what, insecurity? Feelings he probably has never had to deal with before, other people’s he’s never had to navigate before?

 

Eddie feels a lurching in his chest. It’s not sympathy, but it’s similar. It’s protective, and all he wants to do is draw Venom back into himself at that moment, keep him sheltered, just the two of them.

 

Instead he pulls him closer and presses him against his chest. He inhales deeply. Honesty, that’s what he needs right now, and it’s all or nothing. He breathes out.

“It means we are both a pair of sad, clingy, needy losers. A couple of parasites that manage to complement each other. It means it’s gonna be you and me, just us, forever, as far as I can tell. And I’m happy with that.” Eddie laughs a little bit, a small thing to ease his nervousness. “ I love you. That’s what that means.”

 

Eddie.”

 

All at once, Eddie has his arms full of a massive, humanoid and very nicely sculpted symbiote, pressing just as close as he was a moment before, and Eddie can’t breathe. Venom is kissing him again, but it manages to be even more intense this time.

 

It’s like there’s a barrier down, and Eddie is now being blasted full volume with a wave of all the things Venom had kept packed behind it. Despite it being a sudden surge not unlike a tsunami, Eddie basks in it, the nature of the thoughts as comfortable as the gentle lapping of the warm ocean tide.

 

There’s something inexplicable about having the very life kissed out of you at the same time you can feel the unadulterated protectiveness, possession, affection, love of the one doing it. It makes Eddie feel like he’s melting. It’s so much he can’t possibly swim through it all, but drowning feels like such a pleasant prospect. He lets it all wash over him, lets Venom take his mouth, and take and take and take, and he just drinks it in.

 

Time fades away as a concept, just like the rest of the world, the sounds of the city muted by the rushing in his ears. But fuck all that, it’s just them .

 

Hunger is an ever present experience for them. Venom always wants to be eating, and that means Eddie does too, as a byproduct. Never like this, though. There is a new hollow in Eddie’s stomach, a craving, and for once he wants to consume. He wants to devour Venom whole. He wants him back inside himself, and he wants to keep holding and kissing him all at once.

 

Venom feels much the same, desire pulsing strong, and it’s an echo between them, feeding off each other and building until the room feels so warm Eddie has to break and scramble for the hem of his shirt to tear it off. Venom must feel the same need, because he claws at it too, shredding it so it doesn’t even have to go over his head. Eddie doesn’t care.


Venom’s tongue turns filthy, fucking into his mouth with abandon. It’s narrow at the tip, but it thickens as it goes down and it’s not unlike sucking something else except that it is, it’s better, and somehow a thousand fucking times more intimate feeling.

 

Eddie feels an ache, a pressure building below his waist, and it’s getting just occupying enough that Venom’s tongue won’t keep him distracted enough that he can ignore it turning painful in its restriction.

 

Venom rumbles, and it’s between amusement and his own impatience. He withdraws his tongue again as he hooks a long, clawed finger in the waistband of Eddie’s pants, teasing, offering.

 

Eddie takes his first pause. “Do you- I mean do your kind, uh...do you know how to...How would this work?” Eddie stumbles, trying to get a couple different questions out in one.

 

“I don’t care what my kind does. This is what we do, because we want it. We will do everything we want.”

 

Eddie can’t suppress his full body shiver, struck with a little embarrassment over how plainly it must be communicating his blatant want.

 

He smirks, trying to keep up the illusion of his confidence. “You didn’t say how . You don’t exactly have, ah,” Eddie glances down Venom’s pseudo-human form. “The compatible parts.”

 

Venom’s grin appears, lips splitting to reveal his rows of inhumane teeth. Eddie is startled when something kisses his skin from behind, and he glances over his shoulder. There are sprouted tentacles from his back, curling around his waist, passing over his stomach and lightly brushing the curve of his ass.


“Oh. That works.” His mind whirs with the possibilities that assuage his brain, and it takes only a second to realize they’re being pushed by Venom, taunting him, winding him up. He groans, just a little.

 

“But what can I do for you?” Eddie asks, feeling a little out of place being focused on and not returning anything.

 

“This is our body. We can feel everything with our body. We are one.”

 

Eddie chokes as the sentence is finished with a sudden nudge at his cock, feeling almost accidental if it wasn’t for the fiendish expression Venom makes that tells him otherwise.

 

He needs it so badly. Venom’s words, his emotions, his arousal, they’re conflating with his own and making something new, something he’s never thought possible, and he’s responding more than he ever has before. His body feels drawn taught and impossibly heated, and made worse with every inch Venom feels him over.

Venom practically purrs in his ear. “How would you like it to work?”

 

Eddie has no opportunity to hold back the onslaught of fantasies that come flinging themselves to the forefront of his mind. So many options, so many ways….

 

Venom seems to pluck what he’s looking for from the bunch and the edges of his grin sharpen. Eddie’s breath hitches as Venom solidifies himself further, hooks a hand under his pants, and uses the other to lift him off his feet so he can remove them in one smooth motion.

Eddie shivers again at the display of brute strength, and his legs look for purchase around Venom’s own hips so he doesn’t remain dangling.His arms come from underneath Venom’s to cling to his shoulders.

“Yes,” Venom growls, both hands fondling his ass, squeezing and caressing to Eddie’s reactions, “Just like this will do.”

 

Eddie gulps, but he can’t protest because he’s pressed so closely to Venom that he’s getting some much needed friction against the slick surface of the symbiote’s stomach. He doesn’t really want to protest anyway, because the thought of Venom fucking him while bearing his whole weight sparks something electric underneath his skin, but he feels like he should anyway, something about being manhandled and entirely out of control. That thought only makes the current stronger.


Venom’s tongue flicks out at his ear. “You like this.” It’s an observation, a fact. As if to drive the point home, Venom grinds forward, forcing Eddie to gasp and bite his lip to stop it from turning into something else.


Venom likes his noises, is actively trying to draw them out; he can feel it. Eddie lets go of his bottom lip with a bit of hesitation, choosing to be generous with his voice as Venom continues to rub against him.


Two of Venom’s fingers find his hole as his hands pull apart his cheeks, and there really is no holding back the vocal sigh that spurs. Venom’s satisfaction runs straight through his own spine when he cries out as one of the fingers enters him, the small shock over the intrusion and intimacy knocking it loose.


He adjusts quickly, enough that Venom can put the other one in along side it. It’s fucking stellar, and Eddie is worried about feeling so close to blissed out when he’s only reached the fingering stage.


Eddie all out moans when he feels a tentacle enter him, and then another, both more slender than the fingers but moving opposite to each other, and his head falls back and flops forward again. As the pleasure increases, the tentacles fill out, bit by bit, and Eddie loses track of what’s falling out of his mouth, jumbled noises and a lot of pleading as Venom seeks out all the right spots in him.


He’s breathing so hard, and air doesn’t come any easier when he’s pressed right into Venom’s glossy neck, but he refuses to give even an inch of space, thighs clenching all the harder like he could fall right into Venom’s form and be absorbed by him.


Venom’s pace begins to get relentless. He’s driving into him with force and with purpose, every thrust measured and calculated. There are spots on the edge of his vision, and Eddie’s riding so high that his orgasm hits him like a freight train, the impact reaching into his lungs and ripping the shout out of him, and Venom’s pleased growl comes almost simultaneously.


When the world has righted itself and he is calmed enough to open his eyes, he registers that Venom is stroking his hair and wiping the sweat from his forehead. A surge of affection overpowers him and he leans back so he can kiss him again.


Venom meets him, this time without tongue. It’s almost jarringly gentle, and if Eddie had any strength left he probably would have demanded more, but he doesn’t so he lets Venom smother him in borderline-chaste pecks.


It starts getting slobbery, so Eddie pulls back with a laugh, throwing his hands up to stop him. Venom starts moving to set him down, but Eddie grabs back onto his neck.


“Ah, I don’t think I can yet, buddy.”


“Buddy?” Eddie can sense the amusement Venom has over the word and its platonic connotations.


Eddie rolls his eyes. “What do you want, for me to call you sweetheart? Darling? Is that better?”


Venom doesn’t answer, but Eddie can sense the truth again, trying to skirt away from him in fear of being mocked.


Eddie stills. “You know it’s not bad for you to want things. To have emotions. It’s good, actually.”


“Perhaps….that is something I like.” Venom admits, after a moment of considering, hesitantly.


Eddie laughs in surprise. “I think you mean we , babe.”


Venom’s mouth stretches, sharp and curling. “Yes, dear.”