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It’s been months since the Life Foundation catastrophe. Months since Eddie became host to an alien symbiote. Months since his exposé on Carlton Drake posthumously blew the lid off of his entire unethical operation, months since that report got Eddie his job back. Months he’s spent getting back on his feet… moving into a new apartment, for one. He keeps close to the sketchier parts of town because it’s still all that’s in his budget as a single renter and it makes his hunts with Venom… convenient.

The Brock Report moves full steam ahead, receiving a massive influx of subscribers in the wake of his takedown of Carlton Drake. He’s writing for print and web and he’s getting all the exclusives he wants, without being told he has to sell out. It seems like the whole getting-your-body-hijacked-by-an-alien-symbiote-and-pretty-much-dying thing was all worth it, in the end.

Except, he doesn’t get the girl.

Well, it can’t all be like in the movies.

And Anne, well. She doesn’t hate his guts, which is a goddamn miracle given how their relationship ended. She’s got Dan, anyway. And Dan? Dan is… impossible to hate. He’s always so nice and helpful and earnest . Venom’s even stopped offering to eat him most of the time. It’s a little surreal.

Just like Eddie is adapting to his newly-single life, and his newly-superpowered life, Venom is adapting to earth. Learning about humans, their needs and their habits and their shortcomings. Social mores are still a touchy subject, and Venom’s never met a man they didn’t ask to eat, but they’re making progress.

Really, it’s more accurate to say that above all else, Venom is learning Eddie .

Most of what the symbiote learns of humanity is seen through the lens of Eddie’s perspective. Eddie has a bit of a selfish streak, but it’s all a means to an end… an end that Venom believes is good . Exposing corruption. Helping people in need. Justice . It’s something Venom hears Eddie talk about a lot. One day, after they film a segment on increasing tensions between police and communities of color, he’s just parted ways with his cameraman and interviewee when some guy in a red hat shouts at him, “Brock, you’re a filthy social justice warrior puppet!”

Eddie just huffs a laugh and bites back, “Actually I multiclassed to Berserker recently, much more my style.”

The guy blinks at him, comically slow. “Huh?”

“It means I’m not someone you wanna piss off.”

The words are snarled and Venom, feeling Eddie’s intent, bubbles to the surface to warp his features into the symbiote’s nightmarish ones, just for a fraction of a second.

The guy shrieks and bolts, and they laugh about it together on the ride home. They’re tucked into a back corner of the street car when Venom’s voice echoes in Eddie’s head, low and mildly irritated.

Shoulda eaten that guy.

“We only eat really bad guys. Being an asshole doesn’t mean someone deserves to die.” Eddie mumbles against his own shoulder, tucking his chin against the collar of his hoodie.

He opposed you for fighting for justice. That is bad.

Eddie snorts. “Some people think that suggesting those they don’t like having the same rights and protections as them is an attack on their values. Most of the time they’re just uneducated, but there are malicious ones, too. Shouting at me in the street isn’t a death sentence. Can definitely think of a few neo-nazi fucks who deserve to get their heads bitten off, though.”

Let’s find those guys, then.

“Someday, bud.” Eddie grins, and Venom settles contentedly within him.

- - -

A week later, Anne invites Eddie to the beach. She and Dan are spending one of his few weekends off at Baker Beach, because who doesn’t love clambering over eight thousand tourists trying to get a little piece of sun and salt and sand to themselves? It’s a little out-of-nowhere, because sure, they’ve reconciled, but it’s admittedly weird. After some wheedling, Anne finally admits that she’s got this friend from work she wants him to meet, and she’ll be coming along.

Day-of, however, this mystery friend ends up canceling. Anne doesn’t have the heart to uninvite him, so he ends up third-wheeling and it’s not like that is infinitely more awkward or anything.

Still, they have a good day. Eddie swims a couple laps along the surf before laying out for a bit. He watches while Anne and Dan splash around in the waves, playfully swatting water at each other. Anne giggles when Dan picks her up and spins her around and they really do make a stupidly perfect couple, kissing there in waist-deep water like all the rest of the world’s fallen away.

There might be a little bitterness still, and a pang of regret, but it’s buried deep under fondness and acceptance. If she’s happy, he can’t possibly be against it.

Venom’s presence coalesces in the forefront of his consciousness, watching through Eddie’s eyes for a long moment.

We aren’t winning her back, are we?

“Not a chance, buddy.” Eddie replies plainly as he squints up at the sun.

Eddie seems ambivalent, perhaps even resigned to it… and so, Venom is too.

 

The next morning, Eddie rolls out of bed feeling that satisfyingly-deep muscular ache from the physical activity, and his body is so so warm. It feels good. It feels like a new beginning, like he’s let something drop from his shoulders. He puts on his favorite Spotify playlist and jams out in the shower, completely unbothered when Venom tells him You’re such a loser . And maybe it’s because it’s said with a certain edge of humor and fondness that he can’t find it in himself to be offended. Maybe it’s because they’re both losers. They’re in this together… no going back now.

An hour later, Eddie is dry and settled at his kitchen table munching on cereal (Cocoa Puffs, because Venom has shown time and time again to be a big fan of chocolate) when the symbiote materializes. Venom’s face floats next to him and cocks to one side, regarding him.

Eddie, there is something wrong with our epidermis.

Eddie drops his spoon. “Uh… skin? Your skin?”

Our skin. It is darker in color and warm to the touch.

Eddie looks down to see that an inky black tendril has split away from what might be described as Venom’s ‘neck’. It is cylindrical, but flattens out at the end where it’s pressed into his bicep. He belatedly realizes the symbiote is talking about his skin, Eddie’s , not the tar-like form his mind initially went to.

“Oh! My skin! It’s a tan, bud.” He picks up his spoon again, talking through a mouthful of food. “Totally normal. Happens when I go out in the sun. It’ll fade in a week or so. Nothing bad about it unless I get too much sun.”

And this is a… human thing?

“Yeah, but some people just burn. Their skin turns pink, and it hurts like hell, and they have a way higher chance of getting skin cancer than someone with less sensitive skin.”

Human physiology is… strange.

“Most people would say your physiology is strange.”

I just find you all to be so troublingly weak.

“Hey! I might not be able to heal broken bones in seconds like you do, but as I remember it, you’d die outside this fleshy prison of mine here on earth.” Eddie points the spoon at Venom’s face, but the symbiote doesn’t react. “So on my turf, that makes you pretty troublingly weak , too, pal.”

I only find it troubling how easily you could have been harmed.

Could have been. Past tense. Because he has Venom now.

Eddie’s palm absently rests on the space in his sternum where Riot’s axe had skewered him. His fingertips scratch idly over the flesh where there is no evidence it even happened. Venom has sunk back into his body, but he can feel their presence in a way that is indescribable. Like a prickle at the nape of his neck, a weight in the back of his mind… ever-present.

It is a comfort more so than a burden, he thinks… though he wouldn’t voice it aloud.

- - -

They started as “you” and “I”.

“I’m hungry,” gripes Venom after days without feasting on anything remotely human. “You’re pathetic,” the symbiote jibes when Eddie nearly faceplants in his haste to put on pants after Venom threatens to eat his liver again if they don't get them something more filling than tater tots.

But today, Eddie has a meal all planned, though it’ll take a bit of work to get it.

“I enjoy playing with my food, you know that.” Venom reminds him, running an abnormally long tongue over jagged teeth as that horrifying face forms over Eddie’s own, enveloping him in blackness.

“Good. Work up an appetite for this guy, because we aren’t leaving a single fuckin’ trace of this shitstain on planet earth.”

Venom is curious just what kind of man can draw such ire from their host. It doesn’t take long to find out. Some rich mucky-muck recent convicted of several counts of child porn, abuse of a minor and solicitation. He’s out on bail pending sentencing while his case is appealed, enjoying all the comforts of his cushy penthouse apartment. Avoiding the downstairs security is a breeze, and they scale the building quickly. Eddie is getting used to this, he thinks… he isn’t afraid, not in the way he once would have been. He has Venom; there’s nothing to fear.

Shitstain’s got two suitcases on his bed, an open safe he’s unloading into a briefcase, and a cellphone to his ear. He’s shouting into it about a helicopter… probably his intended escape-route. There’s mention of heading south, getting to a rendezvou point, and that he’s got a contact down in Tijuana. He probably knows the justice system isn’t going to rule in his favor, not with all the evidence against him (Eddie’s looked, and it’s a lot… his stomach roils just thinking about it).

He’s still mid-conversation when they burst through the window. The phone clatters to the ground, and shitstain bleats out something like the typical, “who are you?!” before Venom grabs him and swallows his head whole.

Venom lets out a sated little hum, but their attention is drawn to a tinny voice near the ground. They lean down to pick up the cell phone, call still in progress. A young-sounding guy is nervously repeating, “Boss? Boss, you okay? What’s going on over there?”

“We want you to think very carefully about the kinds of people you choose to help in the future.” Venom growls.

There’s a fearful “ Y-yessir,” sputtered on the other end of the line before they crush the phone in their palm.

Eddie takes the guy’s money… not for himself, but he plans to donate it to the fund that’s been set up for the guy’s victims. Shitstain’s money will at least be able to help someone in the wake of his death.

After all’s said and done, they stand at the precipice of the broken window, looking out onto the city. It’s a beautiful sight, but Eddie finds his mind dwelling upon all the corruption those glittering lights disguise. The cool evening breeze whips at them for a long moment before one of them speaks.

“We should go before security comes to investigate the window. Gonna finally quit being such a pussy or take the long way down again?”

After a beat, Eddie jumps.

Venom delights in it. They slow their descent with a clawed hand secured against the metal veins of the building, eventually latching a long tendril there so they can bound away near the ground. Regardless, they land hard, cracking the pavement. Venom shields their host from injury, however, and they take off before security can follow.

“What changed, Eddie? Finally grow some balls?”

Trust , Eddie thinks, but he won’t voice it.

Something like pride blooms in his chest, and he realizes all at once the feeling isn’t his own.

“Eh, I kinda figure you’ve got my back.” He says, because it’s the only way he can prevent Venom from harping on him for being too sentimental, even if it’s unspoken.

“Always.” Venom drawls, and while there’s a cocky assurance there, it’s a promise, too.

- - -

More often than not, now, they’re “we” and “us”.

“We didn’t like that,” Venom says when Eddie tries some new imported chocolate mixed with chili peppers that Dan gifts them one afternoon. “We don’t enjoy this show, pick another.” Venom mutters as Eddie scrolls through Netflix in the evening after a long, grueling day. “We’re safe, I got us.” Venom murmurs in the dark corner of an alley downtown as spent bullets drop from that thick alien hide, clinking to the pavement harmlessly. Except not, because Eddie groans, and when Venom pulls away from the human’s shoulder, it is marred and bloody. Inky black skin covers it, healing instantly, and Eddie’s pain eases.

“We’re sorry, Eddie.” Venom rasps, true regret dripping from every syllable. Those milky, opalescent eyes are so pained, a massive, clawed hand resting over the spot where the bullet had made it through their armor. They’d gotten careless, been spread too thin. “It won’t happen again.”

The sky’s been dark for hours, and it’s right then that the clouds open up, letting the rain fall fat and wet around them. The roar of it is deafening and soothing all at once.

“Don’t worry about it, you patched me up good. That’s another hoodie ruined, though.” Eddie teases lightly, because he can tell Venom feels the sting of failure, feels it clawing at them through their bond.

Venom doesn’t say anything, just shreds the ruined garment away before warping into one themselves, because it’s much easier for Eddie to walk home inconspicuously than it is to try to elude citizens and police alike while they’re all suited up.

Eddie chuckles, shoving his hands into the deep pockets formed by Venom’s malleable skin. There’s something so alien about Venom’s form that it had been off-putting at first, but now, it’s as comforting as fleece or fur to him. Familiar. Safe .

“Hood?” Eddie requests, shielding his face from the rain with his hand.

“Copy.” Venom drawls, forming exactly that and draping over his head, keeping their host safe from the rain.

Eddie’s content mood thanks to the rain wars with Venom’s morose, eventually blending into a sort of nostalgic melancholy. The lines begin to blur between them so often, now, and sometimes Eddie isn’t sure which thoughts and emotions are Venom’s and which are his own.

They spend every waking moment together, as is the nature of the thing. They spend every non-waking moment together, too, and one night Eddie’s curiosity gets the better of him and he asks if Venom ever sleeps.

Not sleep. Rest. We are always alert, always aware of our surroundings.

“Don’t you get bored?”

Constantly.

The next day, Eddie picks up a cheap television at the thrift shop and sets it up on his sad excuse for a dresser. He shows Venom how to click the button so Netflix will keep playing the next episode of whatever’s being watched, and tells Venom they can watch while he’s sleeping as long as the volume is low. Eddie only sets up pretty tame stuff to play while he’s out because he doesn’t need Venom getting any horrible influences (and Venom is clearly so very impressionable). The symbiote is enthralled, enamored and grateful.

They make a habit of watching movies together sometimes, too, when Eddie either manages to find a free moment or when he specifically needs to avoid work before he implodes from the overload. Sometimes Venom just remains coiled up inside their host, conserving energy but watching through Eddie’s eyes. Other times, Venom is a physical form hovering next to him, nothing but a neck and face and rows and rows of razorlike teeth set beneath those opalescent eyes. Sometimes, Eddie keeps his arm bent up on the back of the couch, absently stroking over Venom’s inky-black skin. Sometimes, Venom might even form as some shapeless thing in his hand, slither lazily over his knuckles, weave through his fingers, roll around in his palm. It becomes habitual; shared time and shared space.

They’re watching Avatar one night, because it’s on and Eddie reluctantly admits to secretly loving that film. Eddie is sat comfortably on the couch with a bowl of M&M’s in his lap, and Venom is instantly intrigued by the Na’vi. Eddie can sense it, how the symbiote slinks out of his body and hovers there next to him, watching with their head curiously cocked to one side, attention raptly upon the screen.

“They bond with other species kinda like you do, huh, buddy?”

“There are many differences, but many similarities as well. Wonder what tsaheylu between one of us and the Na’vi would look like.”

“Yeah, it’s too bad they aren’t real or we could find out.”

“What?”

And that’s how Eddie spends the night explaining to Venom what science fiction, and fiction in general, is.

(There are many earth concepts that Eddie has had to explain to Venom over the last few months, but this one ranks as one of the most unexpected.)

“You mean to tell us that Indiana Jones guy from the video last week isn’t real?” —Eddie shakes his head and Venom’s opalescent eyes narrow— “This feels like a grave betrayal, Eddie. A great and terrible deception.”

Eddie laughs. He shouldn’t find it funny, because Venom is clearly actually upset over this, but he can’t help finding the situation hilarious.

“I mean, the magic in the last ten minutes of the movie didn’t clue you in? Ancient sarcophagi don’t just cause people’s faces to melt off in real life, I mean, not as far as I know.”

Venom gives a disgruntled sort of grumble and Eddie lets out a peal of laughter, stroking over the equivalent of Venom’s temple piteously.

“I’m sorry, V. Guess I shoulda told you at the start. Didn’t mean to disappoint you.”

“It is disappointing. But we still have our own tsaheylu.”

Fondness blooms in Eddie’s chest, but he covers it under a snort. “Don’t call it that, makes you sound like a fuckin’ nerd.”

“You’re a nerd.”

“You don’t even know what that means.”

“Bet I can guess.”

“I will take that bet.”

“It's a loser, but for ‘science fiction’.”

There’s a long, tense silence before Eddie reaches a hand into the bowl in his lap, pegging Venom in the face with a couple M&M’s. He gets snarled at for it, but he can’t help but laugh. They bicker back and forth, though it’s playful and light. It’s by no means normal, but it feels right , and Eddie wouldn’t change it, not for anything.

- - -

They’ve settled into a routine, establishing an equilibrium with each other. It’s not perfect symbiosis, but they work, somehow. Eddie occasionally forgets where he ends and Venom begins… the lines are continuing to blur, and he finds he isn’t the least bit disturbed by it.

The way Venom addresses him— them —changes, too. Eddie’s name, once drawled with the same kind of ire one might call someone a condescending nickname, like “ skippy ” or something equally degrading, now holds a certain tone of respect. Sometimes, it even borders on affection. Comments that once would have been sniped at him in a biting tone are now cooed in an almost-gentle, cloying voice.

It’s textbook manipulation technique, Eddie knows. But he also knows Venom isn’t doing it consciously. Their thoughts are not always shared, not in the way Venom ‘talks’ to him, but their emotions are. When the symbiote is discontented, he can feel it bubbling in the bit of his gut in the same way he feels anxiousness, roiling in his stomach like acid. When they hunger, he feels it like emptiness and longing, a nameless need for something unspoken. When they’re satisfied, it settles at the back of his neck like the stirrings of a sated shiver, tingling sweetly.

The night before, Venom’s urgings that Eddie go to bed at a reasonable hour started kindly enough. Eddie had been trying to find time to work on an article, but there never seemed to be enough hours in the day. It was nearly three a.m. when he heard Venom’s voice in his head.

Eddie. Sleep.

“I’m still working. Later.”

Venom had let out something like a growl mated with a sigh. Human physiology makes it necessary for us to get a reasonable amount of sleep. We don’t care if you find it inconvenient.

“Listen, one more paragraph, buddy. I’m on a roll. I’ve gotta get this out before the weekend.”

Venom had grumbled, then, a sound like a thin layer of scalding tar bubbling in his brain. We haven’t fed in days, and now you want us to go without sleep as well. At this rate, it will not be us atrophying your organs.

“I know, V, I’m sorry. Here.” Eddie had reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a handful of M&M’s from the bowl he kept stashed in there. He only didn’t keep it out because he knows Venom would gorge on them and he’d end up with the stomach ache for it.

Venom didn’t appear, however… not right away.

Eddie adopted a sweet, wheedling tone, shaking the candies in his hand. “Come on, bud. I know you want ‘em.”

Resignedly, Venom slunk into existence, emerging as nothing more than a head and elongated neck from the center of Eddie’s shoulder. A long, slick tongue coiled around his hand, slurping up the candies and leaving Eddie’s palm slick in its wake. He stared at the dripping appendage with forced patience, taking a breath before wiping it on his sweatpants.

“Chocolate will only sate us for so long, Eddie. And it is not a replacement for rest.”

Venom’s voice is not as loud when it isn’t only in his head. It has an almost sinister quality to it, tight and restrained… but that may just be for his sake. Eddie has heard the full force of Venom’s roar when it is aimed at an adversary. As irritated as his symbiote is with him, he doubts he’ll ever draw that much ire.

“Just a few more paragraphs, then sleep. Promise.” Eddie had assured.

It was another hour and a half before he took himself to bed, and Eddie could feel Venom coiled up in his gut like a disgruntled cat, simmering with irritation and hunger.

The next night is much the same. Eddie spends all day chasing down leads and filming for his next Brock Report segment, only to get home after midnight and have to keep his nose to the grindstone trying to get this article finished. He starts on the couch, propping his laptop on a pillow and attempting to get his work done in comfort… but that proves impossible. He starts nodding off, swallowed by darkness and hovering in the place between dreams and waking.

He hears a god-awful sound, the shriek of tearing metal. There’s heat, so much heat, everything burns , and Venom is there, but the fire is surrounding them and then—

Eddie jolts awake, nearly throwing the computer off his lap. He clambers to grab it before it hits the ground and lets out a breath of relief when he saves it. His mood sours almost instantly, however, and he scowls.

“Why’d you let me nod off, V? I’ve gotta get this done!”

We need sleep. Don’t ask us to wake you.

Eddie scoffs. “Come on! It’s not that big a deal! Once this is done I can sleep for like, two days straight or something. Just keep me up.”

No.

“Ven.”

He doesn’t get an answer, the symbiote going eerily silent and settling heavily somewhere deep in his gut in irritation.

“Fine. Screw you.” Eddie grumbles, moving to his desk. He’s a lot less likely to nod off again if he’s in that uncomfortable, rickety office chair of his.

He sits. He types. It’s at least an hour that he manages to remain awake, but he hasn’t written much. The words won’t come. His brain is too fried. Not to mention… it’s quiet. Usually, he would be bothered by Venom’s constant prattling but now, it feels wrong not to hear it. He clears his throat and breaks the silence.

“What do you think, V? Is the word ‘scrupulosity’ too pretentious here or does it set the right tone?”

He doesn’t receive a response.

“Oh, now you’re ignoring me? That’s mature.” Silence. “Fine, fuck you, ya damn parasite.”

Eddie doesn’t hear so much as feel the growl that elicits, not a sound but a feeling: hurt and anger. Regardless that it’s earned him a reaction, that’s all it gets him: Venom still doesn’t reply.

He keeps typing, or tries to type, for at least another twenty minutes just to be petty, but finally he stands and snaps his laptop shut.

“Fine, we’re going to bed, you dick.”

Eddie still doesn’t get a response, and he strips out of his clothes and huffily slides under the covers in silence. He leaves the television off.

Usually, he’d have trouble falling asleep when he’s angry, but it can’t be more than two minutes before he’s dragged under. It isn’t long before he’s dreaming. Those don’t come to him so much anymore… at least, if they do, he doesn’t remember them.

Eddie is on the roof of a building, and Carlton Drake stands ahead of him, yards away. He’s in a pressed suit, looking too put together and wearing a winning smile. The icy wind over the city whips over them, but Drake seems unperturbed. Eddie wants to punch him in his stupid face.

“You can’t save everyone, Brock. You’re not a hero.” He throws his arms out and Riot oozes out over his skin, enveloping him. Eddie calls to Venom, and soon he’s armored with his own symbiote.

They fight. They gnash and bite and claw at each other and it’s vivid, so vivid, Eddie is there and it’s real and when Riot grabs Venom’s face and rips them from Eddie he feels it, feels like someone’s torn out part of his soul. The black undulating mass that is Venom without a host is tossed aside like garbage. Riot swings at him, and Eddie slips from the roof.

Those glittering city lights streak past him in a haze for only a second before Riot swings down in front of him, teeth gleaming, axes for arms. One of them lashes out, pierces right through Eddie’s chest, halts him right there, pinning him against the building and leaving him dangling helplessly over San Francisco. All the air is punched out of him; he feels like he’ll never be able to breathe again.

“You’ll never amount to anything, Brock. You’ll never be anything. You’ve always been a dead man walking.” Drake sneers, his face framed by Riot’s wide-open mouth. “I’m just finishing the job.”

Something moves at Eddie’s left. He sees it, he knows he does: darkness given form, a creature like living tar. He reaches his hand out, reaches it out to Venom, toward his friend, his partner, toward some last tendril of hope.

But there’s nothing there… just the shadow of a parapet stretched across the glass, a trick of the moonlight. The axe shifts and he feels himself drop, hears the echo of a distant memory… “Goodbye, Eddie,” it says. He closes his eyes, waits for the fall—

Eddie jolts, and when he opens his eyes again, he’s back in his bed. He catches his breath, ragged and shaking, runs a trembling hand through his sweat-slick hair. His heart is pounding in his chest, and it’s all he can hear and feel.

“Venom?” Eddie asks the dark emptiness of his room, and receives no response.

He doesn’t feel him. Not simmering irritation in his chest nor gaping hunger in his gut nor sweet content at his neck. He feels nothing , and all at once, he feels empty—well and truly alone.

Venom isn’t there.

Venom is gone .

Eddie wakes with a start, bolting up in bed. He knows he must truly be awake this time, because he hurts . His lungs feel like they’re seizing in his chest, his heart thudding so hard against his sternum it’s as though it’s trying to claw its way out of his rib cage.

And Venom, he feels Venom, feels panic that isn’t his own twining up with the terror in his throat, coiling up into a thorny tangle.

Inky black tar explodes over his body, covering him from neck to toe. It’s layered over his skin like armor, resting just above his flesh in a way that’s almost weightless. His fingertips form claws, until he rests his hand on his chest, forcing them to recede.

Eddie, where is the danger?

Venom’s voice in his head is viciously alert, but when he can’t offer more than a strained wheeze as an answer, the symbiote’s hackles seem to drop. Eddie feels their mood shift instantly; it’s like being dropped into a well… like falling into a cold, bottomless void. This is beyond worry or concern… it is stark, unbridled fear.

Us, it’s us. What’s wrong with us?

Eddie shakes his head, still breathless. His head is swimming. He feels relief flood his veins just at hearing Venom’s voice—a realization he shelves to be unpacked later—but it’s like his body doesn’t get the memo. There’s a pause. Venom’s feelings shift rapidly, searchingly. The panic doesn’t ebb.

We don’t understand, Eddie. We checked everything. Nothing is physically wrong—how do we fix this?

Eddie can’t answer. It’s not that he doesn’t know what to say; in fact, he thinks of several responses, actually… all in an overwhelming rush. A sputtered apology because of the guilt he feels over worrying his body-roommate. A negative thought toward himself, ashamed that he is reacting this way to an idiotic dream. A thank-you… gratitude so great that it chokes a sob out of him, the only sound he manages to make.

The panic he feels through their bond fades, but only just, only to tumble down into that bottomless well of morose. It feels like heartbreak. Venom hurts for him.

Eddie… how do we help?

Eddie isn’t sure he knows. Be here with me , he thinks. Venom is already here… real and tangible, and that in itself is the greatest comfort. The hand he has resting on his own chest, hovering above his hammering heart, comes away before thudding back down again and again until it feels like he’s shaking his rib cage.

Hold me , Eddie thinks, over and over and over again until it’s the only thought in his mind, until it’s echoing off the walls of his brain, until every other thought falls away, leaving that single, solitary need: hold me .

Venom’s form around him tightens, fitting against his skin like a latex suit. He feels enveloped, swathed in darkness and warmth. The clenching in his chest starts to ease. His lungs feel like they can finally expand and he draws long, slow breaths until he no longer feels lightheaded.

There’s a long stretch of silence filled with nothing but him breathing and Venom holding him. It isn’t until the tightness in his chest is gone that Venom speaks.

Eddie… what was that? Are we all right?

Eddie nods, clearing his throat as though to dislodge the cotton and stones he feels like he has choking him. His voice comes out ragged and strained.

“Y-yeah, bud. We’re fine. Sorry, just… a bad dream, is all.”

It feels like so much more than that, but he’s so tired. When he flops back down onto the pillow, he’s out within seconds, and Venom stays coiled around him until well into the morning.

- - -

Eddie doesn’t ever end up answering Venom’s question directly. He spends half the next day Googling panic attacks and PTSD, however, and he’s pretty convinced by the time the sun sets that he knows exactly what he experienced (well, that or some kind of blood clot according to WebMD, but he refuses to even entertain that thought—he’s got an alien parasite healing him from the inside, after all).

It’s barely midnight the next evening when Eddie snaps his laptop shut. He’d half-assed the rest of the article and sent it off to the editors with a healthy dose of “fuck it”, resigning himself to not meeting his own ridiculous writing standards given the week he’s had.

Eddie… Venom says, so soft that it’s almost a plea. We hunger.

Eddie’s put Venom through a lot this week, he thinks. They deserve more than chocolate and tater tots. He stands, slips on his shoes and zips up his hoodie.

“You up for a hunt, bud?”

Always. Venom says, and Eddie feels the way the symbiote shivers, rippling under his skin.

They head to the seediest part of town, lurking along rooftops and alleys damp with rainwater and sewage. The city reeks the most here, in its dark underbelly. It’s no Big Apple, but corruption and crime lives and thrives wherever humanity congregates. There is no shortage of it here.

Their first meal is a pimp Eddie catches abusing one of his girls. He’s heard of this guy, the name registering as familiar when the woman begs him to stop. She blacks out when they land behind him, Venom’s full form enveloping Eddie and towering over the pathetic human they intend to devour. Venom feeds, but Eddie doesn’t feel the usual rush of adrenaline and satisfaction that always follows a kill. He must have let Venom go too long without eating… really eating.

“Seems like that might’ve just been an appetizer, huh, V?”

Venom growls, so low and so deep that it rumbles in his gut. “Need more. Been too long.”

“All right. Let’s grab this guy’s cell phone. I have an idea.”

That idea, less than an hour later, comes to fruition as a human trafficking bust set upon the backdrop of a dimly-lit warehouse tucked into a shady corner of downtown. There’s heroin—god, so much fucking heroin —and six girls between the ages of twelve and twenty-three. Eddie lets Venom eat the armed guards, the drug-runner and the errant rich asshole who fancied himself a look at the ‘merchandise’. Eddie makes sure they’re long gone before he calls for paramedics to help the girls, but he lets them out of their chain link cages before taking his leave.

One of them—the youngest, he thinks—stares up at him with eyes older than her own, her beautiful brown skin smudged with dirt. She whispers as he goes, in a sort of awed fascination, “Salvador oscuro.

They’ve gone from not enough, to too much. Eddie is wired, his brain buzzing and his skin humming. Venom’s absolutely thrumming with satisfaction; it’s the only thing he can feel through their connection, now, and he can’t seem to come down. They get back to their apartment by the rooftops, Venom effortless jumping from building to building to carry them home. Usually he’s mellowed out by the time they return from a hunt, but tonight is different. Eddie’s keyed-up, feeling like he’s ready to vibrate out of his own skin. Venom’s satisfaction is still swirling up with his own in a feedback loop, and he thinks he might never come down.

Until.

Until they finally get into the apartment through the fire escape, and Venom sinks back into his skin. Suddenly he feels cold. Bare. Panic bubbles up in his throat and he lets out a startled noise, fingers clutching at his baggy hoodie like he can claw Venom back up to the surface.

What’s wrong, Eddie? Not ready to give up on that feeling just yet?

It’s a goad, but Venom forms over his skin again regardless, from the neck down. It’s tight, like it was the night before. It feels like an embrace, and Eddie lets out a ragged breath, nodding.

Oh, Eddie. Even if we are unseen… know that we never leave you.

“I know. I know .” Eddie repeats, if only to reassure himself that he does . He knows . But logic is one thing he wouldn’t bet on tonight, he thinks. Logic long ago flew out the fucking window.

He doesn’t feel dread and panic cloying at him anymore, but he’s still on edge. He starts to pace from one end of his living room to the other in long, heavy strides.

Eddie… Venom warns. You’re making us… jittery.

Eddie halts, but he just ends up scratching at the side of his head nervously. “Sorry, I know, I’m sorry. I’m just fuckin’... wired , it’s not usually like this.”

We went too long without. Venom explains, and it’s only a little chiding. The rush of all that phenethylamine was too much at once.

“I can’t be keyed up like this at three a.m.” Eddie snips, starting to pace again. “Gonna get myself evicted.”

What does one usually do to calm the nerves?

“I don’t know. Uh. Go for a run? Take a walk, or a shower? Jerk off?”

Eddie physically feels how Venom sifts through his mind, then, looking for a definition for that particular human concept. It’s like someone quickly thumbing through a stack of index cards, images and memories and the ghosts of emotions flitting up from his subconscious for a fraction of a second before settling back down.

Hmm. How like humans, to seek pleasure for pleasure’s sake, omitting copulation… not that humanity needs to breed more than it already does.

There’s a bitter curl of a laugh, there, and Eddie huffs. “Yeah, yeah, humans are dumb animals, we’ve heard it all before.”

Oh no, Eddie. I think it’s delightful . There’s a certain lilt to the symbiote’s tone that makes Eddie absolutely believe it. Come, now. Go and take a shower. We know how you like those.

Eddie obeys.

The instant he gets under the scalding spray, he starts to relax, if only a little. The tightness in his muscles and spine begins to ease. It’s hard to remain keyed-up when in such a confined space, but it isn’t long before he’s getting jittery again. He lathers shampoo into his hair, then scrubs and scrubs and scrubs, even after it’s long gone, after his hair is so clean it squeaks under his fingertips. His nails start to chafe at his scalp.

Thin, black tendrils wrap around his wrists and yank them unceremoniously away from his head. He huffs against the water pouring into his face until his arms are allowed to drop.

Eddie. Venom warns. Calm down.

“I can’t! ” Eddie snarls in frustration, turning off the water and yanking open the curtain. He steps out of the shower, grabs his towel and dries himself off. He rubs at his skin until it’s nearly raw, until he’s wiped away any evidence of every single drop of water that’s sunk into his pores.

Eddie throws himself onto his bed, stark naked. He stares up at the ceiling for too long, until he can’t stand to look at it anymore and digs the heels of his palms into his eyes until colors are bursting across his eyelids. He’s going stir-crazy. He feels like he might burst.

Finally, Venom speaks again. It’s hesitant, almost, like they’re speaking of a last resort, something that they wouldn’t suggest were there any other solution.

Perhaps we can… ease the burden on this human body.

“H-how?” Eddie asks, terrified that the answer might involve Venom leaving him. The very idea of it, even for a short time, makes his heart drop into his stomach and sets his nerves on edge.

We sense your trepidation. But we can ease this hardship, if you let us. For this, we must bond completely.

Eddie frowns. “But we are bonded.”

You are our host, and we are bonded, yes… but not fully. Venom explains. Eddie must surrender himself willingly for us to truly be one.

“We aren’t bonded all the way? What else is there?” Eddie asks, genuinely curious and almost a little offended, like he’d assumed they were already as linked as they could be.

We came to you before you could fully understand. And you have accepted us, now, but you must not just accept… you must want. Eddie must want us, welcome us, surrender to us fully and completely.

“I do.” Eddie replies softly, as though it is not some profound confession. “I want you to stay with me. As part of me.”

We want that, too, Eddie.

“This bond, then… what exactly… changes?”

It is a merging of every cell between us. We will share all thoughts, all burdens. It is a bond stronger than any in all the universe. And it cannot ever be undone.

Eddie’s brow furrows. “Does that mean that you could never bond with another human?”

No. It would still be possible. Venom answers honestly, But another host would never fit the same… or… feel the same. It would be that way for you, too, with a different symbiote, if you tried to bond with another.

“No plans to do that.” Eddie mumbles. After a long moment, he asks the penultimate question, the one he’s been holding onto… the one that matters the most. “Will it, uh. Will it hurt?”

Oh, Eddie, no. Venom coos, emerging from his body in just the form of a face and nuzzling against his temple. Mouth next to Eddie’s ear, they whisper, “It will be euphoric.”

Eddie shivers. He nods, swallowing. It isn’t even a question, not remotely a debate. “Yes. I want all of it, all of you. The whole package. What do I have to do?”

You must only clear your mind, and consent.

Eddie blinks, takes a few breaths… tries to think back on all those meditation tapes and do his best to shove all thoughts aside, all thoughts aside from Venom. After his third breath, he speaks.

“I do. I consent. Take me.”

It is Venom who shivers, then, thrumming with anticipation. Tendrils of inky-black flesh slither out from Eddie’s spine, coiling around him like an embrace. The form of Venom’s face hovers, watching, as though drinking in his reaction, perhaps gauging it… but Eddie thinks it is more out of curiosity than concern.

The tendrils begin to soak into his skin, and it is warm like baked caramel oozing over his limbs. It feels like Venom is sinking deeper into him, until the symbiote is imbued into the very marrow of his bones… a real, physical thing that is somehow simultaneously intangible and unfathomable. It is solid and weightless all at once. It is comfort and security and oneness and Eddie feels as though he could never possibly be lonely ever, ever again.

That adrenaline-rush feeling left over from their hunt slowly fades, Venom now able to mitigate just how much of it Eddie experiences. But in its place, something else blooms. Eddie can hear Venom’s thoughts. Not as words, no… it goes beyond that, in a way that is simply indescribable within the confines of human language. It is no longer the ghost of emotions in the form of physical itches… it is so much more. It is the feeling of knowing something without ever having learned it, like an instinct etched upon his very soul. He knows what Venom is thinking because he knows . It defies all logic and reason. It just… is. Their bodies thrum in tandem. Their minds are joined as one, a collective of knowledge and experiences now shared.

There are no secrets, can be no secrets between them. All at once, Venom knows all of Eddie, and Eddie all of Venom in return. He knows now of Klyntar, the symbiote planet. Of Knull, the symbiotes’ creator. The purpose of their existence, and the incredible act of defiance that this bond represents. Eddie knows it, knows as surely as he knows the street he grew up on or the name of his childhood pet or the first ten numbers in Spanish or his AB-fucking-C’s, he knows that as Venom takes him as a host in this way, it is spitting in the very face of their god.

Because Eddie isn’t supposed to know. He is supposed to be consumed, everything resembling his own thoughts and opinions and freedoms swallowed whole and stripped away. He sees his own mind as symbiotes see them: cobwebs of spun glass, brilliant fractals made up of everything a person is. They are intricate and oh so fragile. Symbiotes are meant to crush them, grind them into dust in their claws… but Venom does not. Venom cradles it, holds onto Eddie’s mind like it is some precious, delicate thing that must be protected.

Venom is meant to make him into a mindless husk to be used and controlled, nothing more. But that isn’t the case. Venom is infecting him: every cell, every molecule, every atom… but it is not as a destructive virus. It is like a protective shell. It is a joining. The spun-glass cobweb of his mind is wrapped up in Venom’s armor, impenetrable and unbreakable. His neurons crackle and fire just as they always have, but now he is they, they are we. They are joined, they are one. He is still Eddie, but they, together, they are Venom.

In a brief, hysterical moment, Eddie thinks this might be what tsaheylu feels like. Now he feels like the nerd, but he can’t find it in himself to care, because the only thing he hears—but not hears, it’s more than hearing or feeling, like knowing beyond any reasonable doubt—is that Venom is his, and he is Venom’s. Mineminemineminemine thrums through him like a mantra, permeating into every cell, every atom. It is more than possession. It is an absolute truth, as if their union is by providence of the universe itself. It is unfathomable devotion. It is boundless love.

Eddie falls to his knees before the altar of something far greater than himself. They are we . Venom is his all, his nothing, his everything. And Venom was right… it is nothing short of euphoric . Every inch of him is crackling with ecstasy, but it isn’t overwhelming because it is shared. He feels… content. Whole. It is bliss .

“Eddie… oh Eddie, all ours now… isn’t it beautiful?”

A startled, pleasured sound punches out of Eddie’s chest. It is ache and fulfillment all in one. It is desire and satisfaction both. He feels it hot in his groin, coiling behind his navel in a way that reminds him he is still so utterly human, even though he, they , are also so much more.

Venom’s half-form, still floating next to him, shivers as though it is not an expected reaction. This isn’t part of the bonding process, or a part of their bond itself. This is something else entirely. Eddie manages to nod manically, babbling out a barely-coherent agreement. His tongue feels too thick in his mouth to manage speech right now, and every movement he makes causes little tremors of tingling pleasure shoot down his spine, like he’s feeling Venom sliding along under his skin every inch of the way.

It’s too much. He realizes he hasn’t touched himself in months… not since Venom came into his life. It hasn’t even crossed his mind, what with everything that had happened. Now that he thinks about it, he was probably pretty fucked up over the whole thing and hadn't realized it; just threw himself into his work and their hunts, his life a confusing tangle of newness.

Now, the need blows through him like a freight train. There isn’t anything inherently sexual about the bond he shares with Venom, but it is so all-encompassing, so all-consuming, that he cannot differentiate the euphoria he feels through it from physical pleasure. It is the ultimate form of intimacy, this connection they share, and the bias of his human physiology cannot help but associate it with sexuality. He’d find it irritating if he wasn’t so painfully turned on.

The stab of want that pulses through him has him grabbing himself without even thinking, wrapping a hand around his cock with a hiss.

Venom doesn’t have to ask what Eddie needs. They are connected at an atomic level, now, sharing thoughts like breathing the same air. Venom’s face moves down to nuzzle at Eddie’s neck, running a fat tongue up and over his cheek.

“Oh my love, you were so good to us tonight. Let us be good to you in return.”

The endearment shoots right through Eddie’s abdomen like lava, and his hand tightens. But he can feel something slither up around his wrist, nudging him away. When he doesn’t comply, more tendrils wrap around his wrist and yank it away. Eddie would complain, except his own hand is soon replaced by an inky black sheath that holds him oh so perfectly . Eddie’s hand clenches and he tugs against the symbiote’s hold, letting out a startled little sound. Venom releases his wrist and gives him something to hold onto; a small tendril, and Eddie’s fingers stroke over the surface of it lovingly.

“Through this bond, we can give you everything you need.” Venom says, face hovering down toward Eddie’s groin, that massive tongue leaving a trail of something like saliva along Eddie’s abdomen.

Any number of fond, sugar-sweet responses could follow that, but Eddie just chooses to bite his lip and grin down at his other affectionately. He feels their bond pulse with warmth, feels that tendril in his grip warp until it resembles something like a human hand, the digits entwining with his.

Venom trails lower, until that wide tongue slips over Eddie’s cock and causes him to jolt, hands automatically moving to grab Venom’s face. But Venom is quicker, tendrils warping and coiling and yanking him away again, wrapping Eddie’s forearms up like rope and fastening them to the headboard. That hand-shaped tendril is still there, tangled up in his fingers, and Eddie squeezes it.

“Just feel.” It’s a request and a demand, and who is Eddie to deny his god?

Venom hears that thought, chuckles low and deep at the idea of it, at being likened to a deity. Having been born from darkness itself at the will of a god, Venom finds the notion amusing. Eddie reminds just how human he is… but no matter how human, Eddie is exceptional . He shines like a beacon among his kind, the fractals of his spun-glass cobweb of a mind a kaleidoscope compared to other humans. And he is mine, Venom thinks, and Eddie hears it.

The tendrils Venom has wrapped around Eddie’s cock melt away, soon replaced by that glistening tongue. Eddie groans, the wet heat of it startling. Venom’s skin is a texture like none other… like liquid rubber, neither wet nor dry, slick but malleable. The symbiote’s tongue, however, is all ridges and dripping warmth, prehensile in the way it curls around Eddie’s cock like any other part of Venom could. Eddie lets out a broken little moan, throwing his head back against the pillows.

Venom’s tongue writhes up and down the length of Eddie’s cock like some kind of snake; rippling, tightening, loosening… rising and falling until that feeling building inside him is the single solitary focus of Eddie’s mind. Venom knows when he’s getting close, knows just how much Eddie wants-and-doesn’t-want it to end, all at once. Venom chooses for him.

The symbiote’s tongue slides away, replaced by those black tendrils which slip over his slick length slow and loose, now, nothing more than a tease. Venom’s tongue moves lower, between Eddie’s thighs, and Eddie lets out a whimper, lifting his head up to watch. That nightmarish face would be a horror to anyone else, perhaps… but to him, it’s familiar. He watches as those opalescent eyes catch his, sparkle with desire and pride.

So beautiful like this, Eddie… Venom’s voice is in his head, now, as the symbiote’s mouth is otherwise occupied.

“Ah fucking hell…” Eddie bites out when Venom’s tongue breaches him, fucking in long and deep in a way no human tongue ever could.

Venom is no expert on human physiology or sexuality, but Venom is an expert on Eddie. They are of a shared mind… Venom does not need to know anything beyond the way Eddie’s thoughts become a torrent of need and encouragement. The broken moans and whines slipping past his lips are a gorgeous accompaniment to his thoughts, a chorus of creative curses and right there and so deep, fuck —and something else… memories, of his back being pressed into a countertop, a bed, a wall, of being fucked by others, men and women who may as well be faceless, nameless strangers because they are nothing now, Venom is his everything .

But Venom can feel that there is something missing, some feeling Eddie’s mind keeps lighting upon, which is why those memories are surfacing. Venom seeks it, and when that tongue curls just right, Eddie lets out a strained groan and Venom feels it, feels that short burst of something electric and hot that curls up toward his navel, causing his hips to buck.

Their bond thrums with Venom’s glee, and all those memories of Eddie’s fade away until it’s just them, him and Venom and yes baby and just like that, love and fuck me, I want it, darling and Venom didn’t think they could ever want Eddie more than they already do but gods it’s like neither of them can ever get enough. Eddie is theirs and they are Eddie’s but how can they prove it other than to wrap him up, possess and protect and give and give and give . Venom removes that thick tongue, runs it over the jut of a hip bone and seam of a thigh, replaces it with one inky black tendril, then another. Eddie may have had the fringes of a complaint on his mind but it falls away to pleasure when Venom proves they have no intention of leaving Eddie wanting for anything.

Venom continues running that massive tongue along Eddie’s thighs and hips and even flicks it over the tip of his cock once—that elicits the most beautiful, broken sound, so they do it again—all while those tendrils writhe and undulate inside him, one deep and thick while the other remains targeted and precise, raking over that bundle of nerves that makes Eddie groan and buck and shake in what could be pleasure or pain or even both.

But the beautiful thing about this new connection of theirs is that Venom doesn’t need to question if these are actions that Eddie enjoys. They know. And Eddie can feel just how much his symbiote loves pleasing him. Every sound he makes, every moan, makes their bond thrum with sharp bursts of pride and something possessive, visceral… but something else, too, something warm that feels a lot like love.

The sounds Eddie is making are delicious , but they’re nothing compared to what he isn’t saying. Eddie’s thoughts are an open mic to Venom; pleas and demands like tighter and harder are so much purer when they aren’t tainted by strained vocal cords or self-censorship. Venom hears a voice there, too, that isn’t Eddie’s; rather, it’s Eddie’s mind’s interpretation of Venom’s voice. You love this, don’t you, Eddie? It rasps, So good for us. Tell us how good it feels, darling, and Venom realizes this is what Eddie wants. It is an ideal. It is a fantasy.

“We don’t need to ask if you like it. We know.”  Venom answers the unspoken request aloud, as if to prove a point. There’s a sly sort of drawl to the tone the symbiote uses, like they’re amused.

“Ask me anyway.” Eddie grunts breathlessly, giving the other a meaningful look.

Venom’s mouth splits into a toothy smirk. “Oh, Eddie… you like this. Don’t you, love?”

“Y-yeah, baby…” Eddie husks, knuckles whitening when he clenches his hands.

“How you always wanted us, right? From the moment I told you that you were mine.”

Pleasure spikes low in Eddie’s gut, shooting through their shared connection like a bullet and making Venom shiver. Pushing Eddie’s buttons has advantages for the both of them. The symbiote decides to keep doing just that.

“Isn’t that right, Eddie?”  Venom goads, not accepting the silent answer regardless of how clear it had been.

“Yes! F-fuck, yeah, just want you, want all of you…” Eddie groans, throwing his head back when the tendrils inside him buck harder, thickening until the girth is almost too much.

Venom’s form is so alien , how it looks now, so disjointed… sheathing Eddie’s cock, fucking him with two alternating tendrils— tentacles , Eddie’s mind corrects, just call ‘em what they are —fingers black as tar laced into his own, trailing down thin and thready until it wraps around his forearms like thick webbing, and Venom’s face, hovering above him and watching with rapt hunger in those opalescent eyes, colossal pink tongue hanging between nightmarish teeth. There’s still so much of Venom inside Eddie, and knowing it’s there beneath his skin makes him shiver. He wants it all, he wants Venom in all ways.

But Eddie has a very specific form in the forefront of his mind, now. Hulking, powerful, some might say monstrous : the form Venom takes when they hunt, when they protect him… the form the symbiote wraps Eddie up in like armor, like a second skin. Venom knows his thoughts, knows them as he even contemplates thinking them, and just like that, the symbiote takes the familiar humanoid form, releasing Eddie’s arms and gripping him around his thighs. They’re still connected where Venom is deep inside him, the symbiote choosing not to change that aspect to better resemble a human. Where’s the fun in that?

Eddie looks at Venom, all seven-or-eight feet of hulking alien symbiote before him, and loses his breath. What had once started as a hostile takeover had now become an equal partnership. Venom gives in to Eddie’s wishes now just as Eddie had acquiesced to theirs all those months ago… but now, their power is shared. Venom could break Eddie like so much glass, but in turn, Eddie, too, has the power to break Venom, by rejecting them.

Such a thing is far from his mind now, however. No, all Eddie can think about now is the way Venom wraps those massive hands around his thighs, pulls him down in time with a rough thrust that has Eddie arching back. Venom lifts him up off the bed as though he weighs nothing, forcing him to take the symbiote deeper, and Eddie cries out, grabbing at Venom’s arms for some kind of purchase.

His own arms aren’t under them, as it usually would be, but they’re no more malleable as a result. Venom is strong and uncompromising… a ruthless predator. A lethal protector. It is such a heady thing to be lifted up by those arms, to press his palms against a broad chest and feel no heartbeat, but to be consumed by fearsome, vicious love regardless.

“Eddie likes this humanoid form, hm? Because it is… familiar?”  Venom supplies him with a flash of memories, of hookups long since past, of men who are decidedly not Venom, and it actually makes his stomach roil.

“Nah, no, nonono , Ven… it’s ‘cause… ah, Christ- !” Eddie hisses when Venom bucks hard into him and he momentarily sees stars. “I-it’s ‘cause this is… my Venom. This is my Venom when it’s just us against everything and every one else, this is the Venom I’m c-closest to, because it’s the Venom that—fuck—that t-takes over me completely, empowers m-me—”

“Oh, Eddie…”  Venom drawls, so sweet and so rough. “We could be bonded for the rest of forever and I think I’d still be surprised by you.”

Somehow, such a simple statement is so utterly profound. Eddie feels the pinpricks of tears at the corners of his eyes, but he blinks them away, shakes his head, wills this overwhelmed feeling surging up in his chest to ebb. It’s already too much, what Venom’s doing to him… he can’t handle any more, and when Venom moves again, he thinks he might shake apart.

Venom fucks him hard and slow, as though they have all the time in the universe… and they do, don’t they? Eddie sees through Venom’s mind all the infinite cosmos spread out before them for the taking. This is just their little corner of it, where they’ve carved out a life for themselves, where chance and circumstance had brought them but devotion had kept them. They can make whatever they will of it… and this? Eddie will never get enough.

Every action and reaction sends a jolt of ecstasy though Eddie’s entire body. It’s a feedback loop of pleasure: Venom pleasing him which pleases Venom which makes him feel so, so good in return. Eddie knows, intrinsically, that Venom cannot achieve an orgasm… but through him, Venom can feel everything, the pleasure shared through every molecule between them, two-and-ten-and-fifty-and-a hundred fold.

“V-ven… Venom—! Ah… fuck! F-fuck! ” What start as coherent words soon devolves into mindless babbling. Eddie scrabbles for purchase; at the headboard, the wall, the sheets, Venom’s arms… anywhere he can reach. But it’s not enough, because it’s all just too much , he can’t handle it, like every synapse in his brain is firing at once, overwhelmed, overloaded. His words become moans become desperate whines, and he doesn’t know if he needs it to end or wants it to go on forever.

“Eddie… give in, love. I’ve got us.”  Venom coos, and it’s all around him, within him, encompassing and permeating and Eddie shakes and cries out as he comes, harder than he ever has in his entire life, harder than he thinks he ever will again. That glass-spun cobweb of his mind feels like it’s been shattered, breaking into a hundred million pieces and his vision whites out, everything going hazy. But Venom just wraps him up and puts him back together, piece by piece, molecule by molecule, until he is whole again.

Venom drinks it in, shivers within the web of their shared pleasure, soaking up every last drop of him. Venom doesn’t stop moving until Eddie is trembling so hard he looks as though he might oscillate through the very bed, until his moans become whimpers become whines. Venom extricates those inky tendrils from the most sensitive parts of their host, moving to stroke them soothingly over his thighs, his hips.

Venom’s face hovers over Eddie’s own, taking in that blissful, fucked-out flush with a mix of pride and fondness and something deeply, viscerally possessive. That long, thick tongue slithers through parted, swollen lips, and Eddie’s dances alongside it in their shared idea of a kiss. Reverence hums through their bond, and it’s impossible to tell which one of them it originated from. Perhaps both.

There’s a wordless feeling between them, an indefinable concept that can only be quantified as an amalgam of the terms “mine” and “yours”. It is mutuality, down to the very core of them where it burns vibrant and warm and bright.

“Sleep now, my Eddie.”  Venom whispers, face rubbing against his cheek. “Sleep and know that we are here, always.”

Eddie doesn’t think he could possibly have any doubts of that, ever again.