The face existed before the name, though the name quickly followed. It was soft on her mind and even softer on her tongue -- the woman, Maria -- the host who was deteriorating at too rapid a rate to call their merging a success. She would suffice, for a time, but she would leave him lacking, leave him for dead, just as one of the others who had been brought to Earth was. The humans had no idea of a proper metabolic rate, of the needs and necessities to keep a successful symbiosis ongoing.
They knew nothing…
There was a face before there was a name, and that name quickly followed. Eddie Brock.
Uttered soft under Maria’s breath, because she still thought that somehow, someway, Eddie Brock would show up. It was, perhaps, because he was a part of her everyday life. It was often his money that kept food in her stomach, often his kind smile that gave her warmth on the colder nights.
Even though he couldn’t take care of himself, sometimes, he took care of her. She was a parasite to him, but he was willing to give, and to give and to give…
That was the desired quality in a host -- it was something that Venom desired. So, there was a name, a face, and an inner hunger and thirst to find this Eddie, and to take him. To keep him.
The word was there, thick on his tongue and spilling from Maria’s throat from the force of Venom’s desire. The taste of it was almost palatable, almost vicious in the enormity of his want. His kind was primal in nature; they fed on what they wanted, when they wanted. They took what they wanted, when they wanted.
Being trapped in this glass dome with the knowledge that the humans around him were too foolish to even know how to achieve their goals was… not optimal.
He wanted that face. He wanted that name.
And then, as though his very desire had manifested… there was that face. There was that name.
And he rose in the body of his host with a warm, bubbling sensation rippling and rolling through him. The face was even better than Maria had pictured in her head.
The word was there again, and Venom knew that he would get exactly what he wanted, after all.
Eddie Brock was as perfect a host as Venom had imagined -- there was an adjustment period, but there was more than that. There was the man’s thirst for the power that the symbiote could provide, and an acceptance that he ascertained was not normal of the other humans. He’d watched them scream and plead and die, collapse upon themselves. He’d watched them attempt to claw the others out of their bodies, if only because they couldn’t stand the thought of a parasite invading their frames.
Venom hated that word. Eddie used it sometimes, and it left a savage and feral snarl creeping through his being; he was not a parasite. He had just as much to offer Eddie Brock as Eddie Brock had to offer him… even though the human hadn’t realized it yet.
He was the name though. He was the face. And Venom had been correct in wanting him from the moment that he’d heard Maria’s thoughts.
Kind… he was that. Venom could see it in the way that his mind worked, the way that he cared, even when it wasn’t good for him.
Tenacious… and there was that, too. Fallible, unwilling to bend. Unwilling to break. Even though it left him without. The world considered him a loser; Venom was not unaccustomed to the word, to the thought.
His race considered him much the same, simply because he had a different idea on how to treat their hosts. If they bonded, if they paired for life and the symbiotes took simple measures to protect those which gave them a venue for existing…
But he’d been mocked for that, called foolish. Called sentimental.
Eddie was sentimental, too.
And then there was Anne. Her thoughts of Eddie were completely different than Maria’s. She knew him far more intimately than the homeless woman ever could have, and the thoughts that curled through her head left the symbiote confused and longing all at once.
There were flashing images of bare flesh, sweat soaked and moving in the darkness of a bedroom.
There were gentle moments of a soft smile, of warm eyes.
There was the sensation of lips pressing to lips, of a mouth used for something other than simply devouring, simply for eating.
The word for that was a kiss.
Venom wanted to experience it.
Venom wanted… and wanted… and the very fact that he’d been parted from Eddie at all was suddenly unfathomable and infuriating. Anne was accepting when he slid into her frame, but the sensation was wrong.
It wasn’t Eddie.
The face. The name. Eddie was what he wanted -- and Anne’s thoughts of him only flooded him deeper with that desire. His entire perspective changed with each new encounter, each new interaction that existed between himself, his hosts… and the way that they saw Eddie Brock.
Vivacious. Full of life. A bit foolish, more than a bit headstrong.
He made mistakes, but even within those mistakes, he did it from passion, from a drive to change the world.
The human world -- the world that Venom and his kind were willing to devour.
It wasn’t such an ugly place, really. At least, the vision that Eddie had for it wasn’t.
It wasn’t such an ugly place, really, when you looked at it through Anne’s eyes, and you could see the fact that the sun was golden behind an image of Eddie Brock, little trickles of light through his hair that cast him in a glow of honey.
Mine. That word was right. Venom was willing to do whatever was necessary to make that word true again. Anne was willing to do whatever was necessary to make sure that they saved him.
In a way, they were a perfect match for one another in their unwavering unflinching desire to rescue Eddie Brock.
Of course, rescuing wasn't all that Venom in mind. The fact of the matter is, he wasn't sure at all about how much longer the world was going to exist, if they failed to stop Riot from his mission. More than that, he wasn't sure of how much longer they were going to live, if he tried to stop Riot.
He wasn't even sure if he and Anne were going to make it to Eddie in time, and that thought sent a shock wave through him that was pain -- it was a shock wave echoed in Anne's mind... and she had a thought of the fact that she would never see his eyes close, warmth spreading through him when they kissed again.
A kiss... that word, that thought again. A memory of flesh pressed to flesh and aching, low moans that had nothing to do with pain and everything to do with pleasure.
Venom wanted that, and he knew the perfect opportunity to extract it. It might not have worked, had Anne not secretly wanted it, too.
Of course, it wasn't her that was pressing against him; it was the warmth of Venom that spoke, "Hello, Eddie." And it was his warmth that slipped forward...
And Eddie Brock was moaning before he'd even started to slide and merge back with him... he was moaning before he had any confirmation of who Venom's host was.
He was moaning, and the sound wasn't for Anne. Venom got the flashing, shocking realization of that as he merged with him again. As he slid home to the place where he belonged.
“What made you change your mind?”
“You. You did, Eddie.”
The answer was true enough, but there was so much more to it than that. Venom didn't have the capacity or the time to allow Eddie Brock into his mind in the same way that he could enter his hosts. If he could, he might open himself up to give the man the answers that he simply didn't have the eloquence to deliver. He was a thing of base instinct, and the nuances of carefully laid out confession simply wasn't something that he possessed the attention span for.
Especially not when there was a fight to be had.
Still, he can sense Eddie's confusion, wrapping around him like a cloud of curiosity and something deeper. There was a moment where he wanted to pause, and to answer all of that confusion... but they didn't have time.
Honestly, he wasn't sure if they were going to live through the fight with Riot; maybe if he died defending Eddie, defending this world that the man found so precious, he wouldn't need words.
Weren't actions enough?
Actions could say what he couldn't summon the words to -- I've seen the world through eyes that are not your own, and in those eyes...
You are the world.
Actions were enough, it seemed, because there was a straining sound of screamed pain when the fire wrapped around them both, and Venom wrapped all the tighter around Eddie Brock to make sure that his host didn't feel the scorch of it. There was pain, an intense flaring of it that the symbiote had never experienced before.
Worse than the pain from the fire, though, was the pain that shot through his entire frame... because in the moment that he started to burn away, Eddie Brock broke into a kaleidoscope of panic, pain, and utter and complete regret and loss.
Don't leave me -- it was the cry of Eddie's mind.
And Venom, burning, writhing, twisting and dissipating, wanted to answer. I don't want to. I won’t. You’re Mine.
But he couldn’t manage the words -- only two. Only just.
And that would have to be enough.