Venom’s self-control is getting better. He’s content to wait, occasionally grumbling- food Eddie- as Eddie chops the potatoes. Steak, mash, and a salad; it’s nice to have the money to cook again- and a symbiote willing to wait.
“You’ll like this one.” Eddie murmurs, checking on the sauce. Dark chocolate, fresh red chili and red wine to render down. Venom pushes free from his shoulder, Eddie can feel him drool. “Don’t mess up my hoodie.” He prods Venom with the spatula. Venom bites it, and doesn’t let go until he’s licked it clean. Hrrrmmm. A purr of pleasure, deep inside Eddie’s ribcage.
Eddie examines the spatula. There’s a neat semi-circle of small holes in the plastic. He shakes his head, puts it aside, and goes back to the potatoes-
“Ow!” A sharp line of red along one finger. A stupid mistake. “This is all your fault.”
Venom peers down from their shoulder, then flows down in a sleek black wave, washing over their finger like the tide, then drawing back, leaving it unmarked. The skin is pink and smooth as it hasn’t been for years. Eddie pauses, and looks over his hand. He’s had scars there pretty much for as long as he could remember, from cooking, childhood adventures, fights-
-stop being such a tomboy, Lizzy-
Eddie shoves the thought away, as far as he can. The shadow of a punch, somewhere in his stomach. Not the first. Not the last. “You did that?” It’s a bit too loud, drowning out the echoes.
“…yes.” Venom emerges from his upper arm, probably wondering what all the noise in their shared head is about. “Did you like it, Eddie? I can put them back.”
Eddie clenches their hand, relaxes it, he’d never realized how the scar tissue had slightly restricted the motion in his hand until it was gone. “No, it’s fine Vee.” He hesitates. He doesn’t want to say it, but if Venom decides to be even more helpful-
We won’t, Venom must have felt his shock of horror at the thought. We won’t do anything. What is it we don’t want us to do?
Eddie presses his hand to his chest, the flat double scars curving across each pectoral. He doesn’t want to say it. He’s been so fucking grateful that Venom’s never asked, has always just- accepted Eddie, without question.
We won’t take them away. Venom still sounds lost. They are ours.
“S’not the scars.” Eddie grits it out. “Just- what used to be there.”
“But there isn't anything missing.” Venom emerges again, nuzzling his cheek.”We are fine, Eddie, nothing needs to be there.”
It’s like- air being let out of a balloon. Such an enormous wave of relief that he nearly drops the knife, half wonders if he’s going to melt into a puddle on the floor, like a symbiote himself.
“No.” Venom presses closer. “We can’t do that. Was it a cancer, Eddie? We saw that on TV.”
“You need to stop watching House.” Eddie is smiling. He can’t quite stop. God, he loves Venom. Loves him so much.
Venom must feel that, because a pair of arms push free from their sides, cross over their chest in a warm, lingering hug. Love. Venom purrs inside him, somewhere under his breastbone. Love love love Eddie.
And dear fucking god that feels good. As good as – better than- it was with Annie. Because Annie was never in here, with him, there was always this barrier- no matter how close they got- of two layers of skin and muscle and bone and assorted organs between them. And-
And the little double takes Annie sometimes did, it got better over the years but they were still there. Even up until the end, and Eddie always hoped this would be the last time. That flicker behind her eyes, trying to place him, the little niggling rabbit punches from even those who were closest of all, the reminder he would never be quite right. Quite normal. Quite what he knew he was, inside.
All the parts that were there, that shouldn’t be there, that should be there and were not. All that, reflected in Annie’s eyes.
She hurt you.
“She didn’t mean to.” Eddie strokes the great clawed hands clasped over their chest. “Just- how she grew up, I guess.”
She thought you were a girl.
And fuck, but that fucking hurts. “Not all the time.” He turns back to his cooking, turns off the heat under the sauce before it burns. "Not even that often." The world is vaguely swimming at the corners. It hurts. A reminder of all the places left bruised from the kicks and punches of the world.
It was stupid. Why did she think that? You aren’t a girl.
Well. That felt a bit better. Eddie manages a smile. “I- kinda was. I used to be, anyway, people thought I was.” Words. Punches, raining down one after the other.
You are not. He feels Venom presses up against their liver, their heart, snakes up their spine and nuzzles their brainstem. They are blind, and stupid. I have been in Maria, and Annie. You feel different, different here- a brush against the frontal lobe, and here- a kiss deep inside their shared brain.
Eddie closes his eyes. “Yeah, but-“ he doesn’t want to say it. My body is different.
“Yes,” Venom whispers in his ear. “You are. Your liver is a different shape, your bones are bigger, you have different creases in your intestines, your kidneys are a little bigger than Annie’s, smaller than Maria’s-"
“That’s not what I mean.” Eddie sighs.
“I know what you mean, and it’s stupid. You have more teeth than Maria had, and your bones are thicker. You have a whole little organ Annie didn’t- that squiggly appendix bit.”
“She had it out when she was a kid.”
“Why is that more important than-“ he presses against Eddie’s thoughts, This bit? This is the bit you want? He makes it sound so absurd that Eddie smiles.
“Yeah, I got the top surgery but no one’s worked out how to graft a dick yet.”
“Drake had one.” Venom states, as though this should put anyone off getting a penis.
“Pretty much half the world has one.” Eddie turns back to the potatoes. Half the world, and he isn't one of them. More than thirty years on and that joke still stings.
And you want one. Venom sinks back in, murmuring in his inner ear.
“Yeah.” Eddie sighs, T’s done a lot for him, his clit does its best and he packs, but it's never been quite right. Just good enough that he doesn’t want to tear his skin off-
There’s a shift between their legs, a weight in his boxers, a confused blur of sensation. Eddie drops the knife and bounds away from the counter, slamming up against the wall. There’s a stab of blinding pain, everything too tight and crushing everywhere-
Eddie fumbles with his jeans, drops them down and pulls down his underwear. The packer rolls out and there’s a burst of relief as he finally has enough space-
Is this what you want?
His cock is jet black, symbiote flesh. About the same size as the packer, not too large, not too small. A comforting weight that scratches something long irritated in Eddie. He reaches down, hesitates-
It won’t bite.
Eddie smiles, touches probing fingers to his cock. So sensitive he can’t help but shiver, a long, shivering pleasure as he gently grasps himself. Oh fuck that feels good, not the half pleasure half wrong reflex he usually gets when wanking off. This is just- good. Straightforward and right and his in a way it never felt before.
“Yeah.” Eddie closes his eyes. Theirs. For a moment, he feels a little sad for his clit, it had done its best, but it was never enough. In a way, this almost feels like cheating. Or maybe he’s gotten so used to pain that it’s become his reality, everything good some alien lie, not to be trusted.
You like it?
“Fuck yes.” Venom’s arms are around him again, pulling him close. They melt into him until it’s not Eddie or Venom any more but just them. One, together.
Yes. Never apart again, Eddie. All yours now. All mine.
“All ours.” Eddie echoes, feels a flicker of resounding pleasure from Venom.
Never hurt you, Eddie.
“Nah, I know.” He turns his head, and Venom is there, that sleek bullet head, the teeth half bared in warning should anyone try and hurt them. Fuck, but he loves him. He presses his lips to the slick flow of Venom’s mouth.
He feels a wave of love back, satisfaction and warmth. Yes, yes yes. We eat anyone who hurts us.
There’s a touch to his mind, assuring him that Venom knows, he’s seen how people can hurt him. If they talk about your dick, we bite theirs off. He feels the teeth, pressing against his lips like a flawless row of knives.
The world has clenched fists. But now at least, they can bite back.