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The first time Eddie suggests they have sex, Venom is, more than anything else, extremely confused.

They’re on the couch at home after a fight down by Fisherman's Wharf that's left Eddie annoyed and jittery; for some reason, keeping all the non-edible idiots straight from the snacks Venom's actually allowed to eat is harder there than other places. So Venom is trying to massage the tension of the night from Eddie’s shoulders, experimenting with prodding at different paces and pressures from within and without.

It’s pleased with the results so far. Eddie has melted into a humming, human-shaped puddle, and Venom is half-in, half-out of his body, purring smugly, full of drug trafficker and as content as its ever been. They’re most of the way to finishing off a six-pack of some microbrew that theoretically has chocolate incorporated, and is, in Venom’s opinion, entirely overpriced based on the amount of actual chocolate Eddie could have purchased instead, but it's still chocolate and Venom likes how it makes Eddie go all fuzzy and sweet.

All in all it's a fairly typical night, so when suddenly Eddie spits out into the normal routine of it a garbled invitation to try something new, Venom takes a while just puzzling out what he's even suggesting - humans use way too much slang. At first it's sure it's gotten it wrong, but-

“Okay, so I’m thinking maybe the extended silent treatment is a bad sign." When Venom coalesces a head to peer around at his face, Eddie refuses to to look at him. He stares intently at his own hands instead, struggling to open the sixth beer. “Nevermind, it’s cool, I just was interested, I thought maybe you might be interested too, I was clearly wrong. It’s no big. You up for, uh, for a Knicks game? Or, uh, what movie are we on now, on the, the list-”

YOU THOUGHT I WAS INTERESTED,” Venom repeats blankly, and feels the need despite its lack of eyelids to blink rapidly. “IN SEX? WITH YOU? Eddie stares at back at it with an expression that indicates Venom is getting something crucial wrong in this conversation. "BUT YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE SPORES."

“Yeah, my mistake, about the... spores, and all," Eddie says in a high voice, hunching his shoulders and ruining all of Venom’s massaging. "You're right. I do not have spores, so let's just... forget this came up. I clearly tangled some wires, misread some signals, it’s fine." His stomach had started roiling abruptly, like he’s been drinking something worse than fermented plant juice, or maybe like Venom accidentally left a chunk of undigested trafficker in there.

But Venom had experienced Eddie’s belly doing this inexplicable dance before, mostly during their first motorcycle ride, so it doesn’t worry itself, much, that some crucial organic component has been damaged. It noses at Eddie’s cramping stomach just in case, but nothing physically appears to be wrong, though it certainly feels that way. It takes a moment to parse, but it eventually dawns on Venom that Eddie is hurt, emotionally. That he’s embarrassed.

Oh.

UH. I MEAN, IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME,” Venom assures him, and is unsure why Eddie groans. “IT'S JUST, IT'D BE LIKE-” Venom gropes for a human analogy. “YOU WANTING TO FUCK A STOPLIGHT. OR - THE COLOR PURPLE.”

“Stop, stop.” Eddie gropes around the table, eyes closed, and then sighs and takes the beer Venom is dangling in front of him. He drains it too fast, and then says too casual, with a wide smile that even Venom can tell is fake. “Look, I get it. Forget I said anything. Let’s just finish the movie. The game. Whatever this is, on the television, right now.”

IF I FOUND ANY SOLID-STATE HUMANOID HAIRLESS BIPED SEXUALLY COMPELLING IT WOULD DEFINITELY BE YOU!” Venom tries again, directionlessly questing for the right thing to say, something that will make the strange, sad whirlpool feeling in Eddie’s stomach go away. “I KNOW YOUR ORGANS ARE DELICIOUS, ANYWAY. I’M SURE OTHER… BIPEDS… LIKE YOUR LIMB ARRANGEMENTS? I’M JUST NOT INTO LIMBS, IS ALL. USUALLY. I MEAN, WHEN I’M NOT... EATING THEM.

At least Eddie now looks a little less like he’s taking an enormous and painful shit, and a little more amused.

“Look, just as a hot tip from me to you, on behalf of the planet Earth, you don’t have to verbalize all the reasons you’re rejecting someone. You can just say, ‘nah,’ and let the other person, I dunno. Die gracefully of shame or something, okay, buddy? And if they don’t take your nah for an answer, you should eat them. You have my permission on that one, forever.”

NOW YOU’RE JUST BEING DRAMATIC,” Venom scoffs awkwardly, starting to feel it probably could have handled this whole thing better; they’d never covered this sort of thing in class. Not that Venom had ever done well in class, but mostly they just taught the cadets how to suppress an immune system, or how to subjugate a carbon-based versus silicon-based planet, instead of anything useful. “I WOULD NEVER LET YOU DIE, NO MATTER HOW SHAMEFULLY YOU BEHAVED.”

“Thanks, thanks, buddy. Means a lot.”

I MEAN IT!”

“I know, babe,” Eddie sighs, and pats the nearest tendril to his hand until Venom loops some smaller tendrils around his fingers. “It’s fine, it really is. I just feel a little dumb, but it’s fine. Not your problem.” His voice lowers to something a human couldn’t hear without a symbiote’s assist, so that it’s something secret just for them. Which, it’s not like there is anyone else around to hear, but illogically, Venom thrills to the intimacy of the low rumble of it: “I love you, too, darling.”

He’s only said it a few times before - when Venom stirred awake for the first time since the rocket’s fall, agonized and starving and confused. It had been so cold, and Eddie had caught and eaten a seagull for it, swearing and saying it over and over. I love you, don’t go, don’t go, don’t go, it’s okay. I love you, don’t go.

Since then, he’s said it only a few times, usually drowsy, half-asleep or after Venom brings a coffee over carefully to his laptop in the middle of a writing jag.

YOU LOVE ME,” Venom repeats, glad and smug; after everything, it had been sure Eddie did, but still. After the uncertainty of the conversation, it was nice to hear it out loud and to feel the glow of it in their shared veins. It closes its own eyes to bask for a moment, then sinks under Eddie’s skin entirely, to better begin brooding over the subject of sex, the last thing it had ever expected to come up on Earth.

Obviously it had known that humans had sex, often and extremely successfully, given the population on Earth, but Eddie had no offspring yet. It just… really hadn’t occurred to Venom that Eddie might ever want any.

Rifling Eddie’s brain in search of answers, it quickly finds a morass of sexual thoughts and memories already close to the surface of his consciousness. Which is new, and yes, Venom should probably have noticed this earlier, but Eddie’s thoughts and emotions have been changing around, lately - mostly for the better, Venom had thought. Eddie’s been holding himself more upright and less slouched, taking more showers, eating more regular meals; he sleeps more and wakes in the middle of the night less. He smiles a lot, and when he laughs, it tastes like what Venom imagines a chocolate-filled aquarium of lobsters might.

Clearly this is all because Venom is such an excellent symbiote, who provides security and food and companionship for its host. But for all it likes to brag about how it knows Eddie’s entire brain backwards and forwards, Eddie’s memories aren’t actually very helpful, unless it’s Eddie who’s pulled one of them up, because otherwise, they’re just a mishmash of sensory data, stripped of context and meaning.

Human reproductive behaviors, as far as Venom can tell, are mostly all grunting and grimaces that should indicate pain, but don’t seem to actually correspond to any injury. Or at least not always. Overall there’s very little color or flash to the proceedings, though Venom does like the squelching sounds. It’s nothing like symbiote sexual reproduction, from what Venom understands of it. Nothing glows, for one, and there’s no coordinating signals and dancing, for another.

But some sexual activity in Eddie’s memories definitely involve kissing, and that gives Venom pause. That feels relevant.

It had liked the kissing. Venom remembers it now: the relief of sinking into the welcome wet heat of Eddie’s mucous membranes, Eddie’s distinctive bacterial flora on its tongue, the feeling of safety in every sinew, every extracellular space. Each thrust of tongue a claim that this was Venom’s place, that it was Eddie’s. The kiss had brought them back together - Anne had thought of kissing Eddie at some point during their brief symbiosis, and Venom had been intrigued by the gesture, had wanted it, but hadn’t thought too deeply on what it meant. It had vaguely thought the kiss could be an apology, and an offer, and moreover the quickest way back to Eddie, biologically speaking. It had been altogether a delicious, joyful moment in an otherwise extremely stressful interlude. Venom has been thinking of it occasionally, fondly, gleefully, and not realized Eddie has been too over these last few days.

It finds the memory of their kiss and taps the memory as best it can, so that it thrums up to the forefront of Eddie’s thoughts. The result is twofold: it finally gets to observe the other side of that experience: Venom’s taloned hands huge on Eddie’s face, Eddie’s jaw opened wide for Venom’s tongue, the taste of metallic blood spilling from their mouth into his, the dark alien form of their head blocking out the sun, Eddie’s throat raw, with eager sounds coming out from it. His battered heart had thudded and thudded, and when Venom had spilled inside him, hot and liquid, he’d shivered to his toes, opened his mouth wider for them until it ached and ached.

The moment the memory comes to Eddie’s attention, in the present, his body does something strange in response - a jerky pause of respiration, a dilation of surface capillaries. Eddie swallows thickly, eyes wide and dilated despite the lack of change in light, and there’s the same adrenal rush as before: a tingling in the extremities, a flushing of the face, the lips, a thudding of the heart. So much is happening - has it always been happening? What has Venom been missing?

But before it can explore the physiological effects further, Eddie shoves a hand through Venom’s face and starts squawking about Venom needing to mind its own business, which was ridiculous. This couldn’t be more Venom’s business.

WE - YOU FOUND IT AROUSING,” Venom says, with dawning understanding, despite the mind-boggling strangeness of the idea. “THE KISS.”

“Yes! I had thought that was pretty clear without you rubbing my face in it, V!”

WELL, HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW KISSING WAS A SEXUAL INITIATION RITUAL FOR HUMANS? YOUR MOUTHS SEEM DETACHED FROM YOUR GENITALS BUT HONESTLY, YOUR WHOLE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM IS WEIRD. LIKE, IT’S PRETTY CLOSE TO YOUR EXCRETORY APPARATUS. NOT THAT I’M JUDGING.”

Okay, so it's judging. But frankly, the entire human body is a mess; evolution has really dragged these poor sacks of cells on some odd paths. Humans are fragile and redundant and weird, basically duct-taped upright and tottering around; Venom has mostly made its peace with that over the last few months, and has learned to enjoy wandering its way into odd loops in the intestines, and prodding bits of the knee and ankle. Madness, the human back. Total chaos in there.

At some point during this digression, Eddie had started banging his head against the coffee table. When Venom begins cushioning the blows, he lifts his face to glare head-on at his bobbing symbiote, and Venom beams toothily at him in spite of itself. It’s surprised itself with how much it loves to look at Eddie, to watch his face move and shift about. One day, Venom thinks it will be able to read all his little microexpressions from within, know it all from the flicker of neurons and swirl of hormones, understand its host from the inside out. But for now, it likes to be able to look, to match mouth shape to heartbeat. To see. Venom likes looking at Eddie so much, likes Eddie so much, sometimes it almost feels like it’s sparkling with it - with shock, contentment, joy, annoyance, amusement.

“Stop judging my genital organization,” Eddie is saying, not truly mad, but definitely a bit frazzled while Venom tendril-strokes the arch of his feet and curls its way up a shivering tibia to lovingly nibble the patella. “You don’t even have genitals.”

AND YOU DON’T HAVE SPORES,” Venom points out, and is a little annoyed when Eddie inexplicably sing-songs something about calling the whole thing off. It elects to ignore it, and continues on. “I DIDN’T REALIZE KISSING WAS SEXUAL,” it explains. “I THOUGHT IT WAS… DECLARATIVE. ROMANTIC.”

“Romantic,” Eddie mouths back silently, for reasons known only to his strange human brain. He’s pinker than before; Venom thinks its to do with his capillaries flushing.

BUT IF IT’S TO COPULATE… I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO. WE CAN’T REPRODUCE TOGETHER.” It doesn’t think so, anyway. It tries to imagine this warm, round human, patchily covered in hair and protective textiles, dusted with Venom’s opalescent glowing spores, and finds itself brought to a fizzing, thoughtless, screeching halt.

It attempts an approximation of blinking its eyes, and thinks it works this time, because Eddie blinks back.

WHY WOULD WE WANT TO? WHAT WOULD YOU GET FROM THAT?” It suddenly wants to know, urgently.

“Nothing, I get nothing,” its human says thickly, waving its hands. “I was just - kinda drunk, and a little horny, and not thinking, and I don’t want to reproduce, and for the record, not all kissing is sexual anyway! So, so can you just for the love of little chocolate-covered brains, let it go?”

DON’T TRY TO DISTRACT ME,” Venom huffs, and valiantly ignores the immediate mental image Eddie throws at him of them chasing a gangster into the Ghirardelli factory; as though Eddie ever lets them go to the Ghirardelli factory, however much Venom begs. “I WON’T LET IT GO! TALK TO ME! TALK TO ME ABOUT SEX!

“You’re the actual worst,” Eddie hisses, and then, with both hands in his hair, tugging it into frankly admirable, if non-functional, spikes, grits out: “You know humans can fuck for fun, right? Because I’m getting the idea you guys don’t, uh. Do that.”

OF COURSE I KNEW THAT,” Venom says, shiftily, because okay, yes, upon reflection it really should have figured that out weeks ago. “IT’S ALSO… ROMANTIC. I KNOW THAT. SEX CAN BE ROMANTIC, FOR HUMANS”. Romantic and recreational. Fun. Abruptly Venom is realizing it has no idea how to be romantic, besides that single kiss, which had apparently been arousing. Which - was that good or bad? It has no idea how to be sexual or romantic or fun. This is a disaster.

“Well, that’s what I was proposing. I love you, I think you’re hot, I wanted to bang, it’s okay that you don’t want to do that, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. I mean, it’s not like I ever thought you were the peak of sexual compatibility, okay, but -”

I AM YOUR PEAK IDEAL FOR ANY COMPATIBILITY,” Venom hisses instinctively, and they both pause to stare at each other for a moment.

“See, that right there, is what gives a guy ideas,” Eddie says, mouth quirking even as Venom glares at him. “I get it, I get it, I am the anti-sex to you, it’s fine. I’ll figure something out. But, just as a head’s up, since we’re already at like peak horrible conversation levels, but I am eventually… I haven’t had much of a sex drive for the last six months, on account of being a depressed piece of shit, but I’m feeling good now-”

BECAUSE OF ME,” Venom preens, and feels that sparkle again, rippling over its being when Eddie smiles at it, and it intensifies when he starts to rub a thumb between its eyes, like instead of being a predatory god that lurks between the stars, Venom just a delicious morsel or something, like Anne’s cat, something to cosset and pet. It should be insulting. It feels good. It’s definitely not making Venom purr. Much.

“Yeah, buddy, because of you,” Eddie says, briefly soft, eyes all crinkled up and mouth curled at the corners. “Anyway, just. I’m not saying I want to have kids, with you or anyone else, Jesus Christ, but. I’m gonna probably be doing some non-reproductive sexual stuff sometime soon, so. That’s a head’s up for you. If you’re not into sex, you definitely don’t have to be involved, we could, uh. Find somewhere for you to go during that, I guess?” He’s not looking at Venom now, just gnawing on a lower lip and staring intently at the television.

If you’d asked it yesterday, Venom would have vehemently denied any interest in procreating with its alien host. But it’s definitely already started mantling into toothy threat-coils at the very idea of Eddie reproducing with someone, anyone, else. And when Eddie suggests Venom leave Eddie’s body, Venom loses it a little. Leave? Leave Eddie, leave Eddie alone while someone else kisses him? And mashes their squashy solid body parts on him. Without Venom there. Someone else arousing Eddie.

“Whoa! Uh, dude,” Eddie says. “Don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty cool look, but also I feel kind of like a shark who got fucked by a cuisinart? And now we’re, uh. This, like, Eddie Scissorhands sharktopus thing. Not that I’m not into it,” he reassures quickly. “It’s just a surprise. So, uh, are you okay?”

Venom just growls, ruffling their teeth. “WE SHOULD KISS AGAIN,” it hisses, sibilant and threatening. “I CAN BE INTO SEX. WE CAN BE SEXY!

“Absolutely you can, but wow, you know what, starting to feel like maybe we should table this whole conversation until you’ve had, uh, more time to think about it all,” Eddie says, lifting his bristling, gooey hands placatingly for some reason, like Venom’s holding a gun on him when it is just trying to offer kisses.

"I’VE CHANGED MY MIND,” Venom insists, and starts oiling its way up Eddie’s leg to stare decisively at his sex organs, all bunched up there inside the pants. “I WANT TO FUCK YOU. LET’S DO IT.”

“Oh boy. Look, babe. Are you sure you actually want that, or are you maybe, just possibly, jealous of someone else having it?”

How did he even know that.

“Seriously, V, there’s no pressure here. You don’t have to do anything you’re not into.”

In the reflection of the television, Eddie’s eyes are glowing white laced with black. It looks good on him.

Venom thinks again, apropos of nothing, about the fact that their kiss had aroused Eddie, that Eddie had enjoyed its tongue on him, in him. Thinking about that feels - good. Not bad. Just odd, a little bit like the way it had when the car alarm went off, sensitized and shivering and tender, but not in a bad way. Just… strange.

I AM NOT NOT INTO IT,” Venom observes blankly, a little surprised.

“Cool! I mean, cool, that’s cool, you know. Good start. Get back to me on that. Maybe do some, uh. Research, first, on other sex stuff, figure out what’s sexy, before, you know. Trying to have sex.”

FINE,” Venom growls after a few minutes of sulking over Eddie’s implication that it was anything other than sexy. Not that it is entirely sure what sexy is, even for its own species. Which means Eddie is right, which is even more annoying, ugh. It slurps itself down into grumbling puddle on the couch next to Eddie, glaring up at Eddie’s grinning face. “GET ME A BEER. I WISH TO DRINK, AND WATCH THE TV.

“Sweet talker,” Eddie snickers, but does gather them up and walk them to the fridge. They share the beer on the couch, curled together as one. Before bed that night he presses what he says is also a kiss, even though it’s soft and tongueless and toothless, to the corner of Venom’s mouth, so Venom decides a small amount of mockery can be forgiven.

Besides, it was going to figure this shit out. And then Eddie would be sorry he’d ever even gently mocked it for its lack of sexual awareness. Venom was the multidimensional product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution since the dawn of Klyntar sentience. Humans had only been around as a sentient species for maybe a few measly million, if Venom was being generous, so how tricky could their sexuality be, really?

***

Humans are really fucking weird. Venom decides this extremely early on in its research, which unfortunately takes longer than it intended. Partially because it keeps getting side-tracked by people trying to kill them over Eddie’s journalism attempts, but more-so by the internet at large. Furries are apparently not truly biological forms of human, for one thing, and for another, Homestuck is fictional, and that takes an entire day to sort out and be disappointed over, and also to finish reading.

Still, a week in, it knows it’s in over its pseudo-head. It doesn’t even want to touch the mangled mess that humans call ‘gender’ and how that intersects with sex (though it is newly intrigued by some of Eddie’s memories that revolve around wearing Anne’s delicate, lacy undergarments – some of them had looked almost like Venom’s own flesh, spread over skin and shifting – aesthetically inspiring and oddly intriguing, but in the interests of efficiency, it sets that aside to ponder more later).

Anyway, the important take-home discovery it makes is that humans are apparently always fertile, and therefore always essentially capable of being down to fuck (or DTF, as the kids on the internet say), even if only about half of humans are able to actually give birth. Also of relevance is that, based on its studies of tumblr and reddit, Venom has yet to discover an Earth object that at least one human is unwilling to copulate with. Vegetable, mineral, vehicle. There seems to be no end to what a human is willing to view as a sexual object. Humans will definitely, absolutely be the sluts of the galaxy once they figure out space travel. This is the thesis of Venom’s current visual essay, being presented to its unwilling subject.

HERE WE SEE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A HUMAN ATTAINING SEXUAL RELEASE WITHOUT ANOTHER HUMAN PRESENT,” it explains and clicks to the last slide of the powerpoint where it had organized the bulk of its research. It tried holding Eddie’s eyes open and head in place after he tried to escape the third time, but then Eddie started ranting about the Clockwork Orange and consent, and Venom’s research indicates that consent is quite important in any relationship, but especially a sexual one.

So it’s now holding Eddie in place solely by attempting the feat known as ‘puppy eyes’; it’s been surprisingly effective.

IN CONCLUSION, IF A HUMAN MALE CAN FUCK A PIE AND ATTAIN SATISFACTORY RELEASE, AS SEEN HERE IN THIS ‘GIF,’ THEN DESPITE A LACK OF MOST ORIFICES, I BELIEVE YOU ARE CORRECT THAT THE KLYNTAR AND THE SPECIES HOMO SAPIENS CAN BE OF EQUAL, IF NOT OF SUPERIOR, SEXUAL COMPATIBILITY. I WILL NOW TAKE QUESTIONS.”

“Oh, am I allowed to talk now?” Eddie says. “Great! That was awful. I have regrets. That whole thing was - really. Not sexy. Not sexy, Venom! There was Comic Sans! And way, way too many dead animals. And-”

I WORKED VERY HARD ON THIS PRESENTATION,” Venom says, eyes narrowing into slits. It’s getting pretty good, it thinks, at this non-verbal facial communication thing.

“Did you fucking, like, find 4chan or something? Some of those images were meant to be seen by neither god nor man,” Eddie says, collapsing in the chair and rubbing at his eyes. “Seriously, when I said you should think about it, I didn’t mean you should like, write a damned dissertation on human sexuality. I meant you should think about if sex with me is something you are interested in.”

I AM OBVIOUSLY INTERESTED, EDDIE,” Venom snarls, deeply confused and frustrated. Does Eddie not want to - stick his appendages in its body? Be stuck by its simulated appendages? What was wrong with its powerpoint? “I’M INTERESTED IN EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU, ABOUT US. YOU ARE MINE, AND SO THIS IS OURS TO UNDERSTAND, AND I WILL UNDERSTAND IT.”

“Okay, okay, I hear you,” Eddie says, closing his eyes and swallowing, fidgeting with a hoodie string. “I get it, I want to understand you, too.”

Something about what Venom had said has triggered a flush on Eddie’s face that all of Venom’s slides had not. He’s wriggling a bit, just a little, squirming around on the couch in a way that sometimes means he needs to piss and doesn’t want to stand up from the computer to do it and that Venom should take care of it for him, sneakily. But when Venom checks the bladder it’s mostly empty, so it’s probably not that this time.

Venom wonders, suddenly, if Eddie is embarrassed again. Embarrassed, or aroused - his blood is running strange, heart pumping faster than it normal does, outside of a fight or when they’re not at the top of a building.

He’s moving his mouth, lip tugged between his adorably pathetic little teeth, and it reminds Venom of the kiss, their kiss. It has been a week since they’ve last made a kissing attempt, what with the assassination attempts and the extreme creepiness of Kasady’s interview, and Venom’s research project. But they have some time to experiment, now, and Venom is ready.

It licks little tendrils up the inside of Eddie’s throat and Eddie’s eyes shoot open again, huge and bright, and when he breathes out raggedly Venom lets itself flow with it, through alveoli and duct and capillary and lips, in curling wisps. It doesn’t really know why it does that, except that it knows it wants to feel that exhalation from the inside out. Then Eddie licks his lips again and Venom watches the black of itself curling on Eddie’s tongue. It’s - interesting data, probably. About their sexuality.

WAS THAT A KISS, TOO?” Venom rumbles, interested in refining the definition.

“It was, yeah, we can call it that,” Eddie mumbles back, rubbing the back of his neck. He’s sweating lightly; when Venom licks at the dampness at the back of his neck, it increases. “Okay, okay, cool. Right, so, let’s… let’s try a different, hopefully less traumatizing angle on figuring this out. I mean, not that you did a bad job, babe, that was entirely my fault for just, letting the internet loose on you and vice versa. And, I mean, not an inaccurate portrayal of humans, in the end, so. We’ve established that I, at least, can have sex with you, because god knows humans can fuck anything, your thesis is pretty valid there. But I still don’t really know what sex is like for you. You know all of humanity’s darkest secrets, now it’s your turn. Cough it up.”

I HAVE ALREADY DIGESTED THE REMAINS OF MANOLO,” Venom says, puzzled, and narrows its eyes when Eddie makes a little disgruntled sound, grimacing. “...THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU MEANT,” it deduces. “WHAT IS IT YOU WANT?”

“The 411, the lowdown, the—general ‘for dummies’ guide to sex in your species.”

YES, THANK YOU, I HAVE PARSED YOUR SLANG NOW, EDDIE,” it sighs.

“I mean, I’m just saying, if you really want to give this interspecies sex thing a shot, I need you to give me something to work with. I don’t even have any idea what sex looks like for you, except apparently it involves spores? While you know basically everything about what I’m working with, like, extremely intimately, don’t think I haven’t felt you poking around my balls—”

THEY ARE EXTREMELY INTERESTING,” Venom protests shiftily. So tender and delicate, so full of nerves and weird little cells. It is deeply tempting to eat one, but so far it has managed to resist.

“So it’s only fair you share what turns you on.”

“WHAT TURNS ME ON?”

They do more mutual blinking at each other. Venom really feels it’s got this blinking thing down now.

"ASSUME, FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, THAT I DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM TURNING ON," it mutters finally.

"Uh, I guess… whatever made you—last time, you did the spore thing, what triggered it?”

I’VE… NEVER ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED FULL SPORULATION,” Venom admits finally; it is not entirely sure why it has put off admitting this, only, compiling the powerpoint had made it feel slightly, possibly, a tiny bit sexually inadequate, compared to the vast breadth that is humanity’s sexual history. Or even a single human’s sexual history. “OR EVEN OBSERVED IT PERSONALLY. MY SPECIES ARE PRIMARILY REPRODUCING VIA ASEXUAL SPAWNING, THESE DAYS.”

“…Oh. Oh!”

IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL, EDDIE. DON’T BE WEIRD. VIRGINITY IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT.” It has read a lot about this. Eddie mutters something into its palm about blocking Venom from the internet, which is ridiculous. Venom already knows all his passwords and controls the fingerprint lock on their phone. “IT IS IRRELEVANT TO OUR SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP ANYWAY. NEITHER OF US HAS EVER FUCKED AN ALIEN; IT WILL BOTH OF OUR FIRST TIMES.”

"Right. Totally. But, uh. Are you sure it’s something you want to do? Like. Clearly you don’t feel the need, normally, right? Does it… I mean, does it even feel good for you?”

"I… ENJOY THE IDEA OF IT,” Venom says, and begins to understand why Eddie has been squirming so much when they discuss sex. It is awkward; Venom feels exposed, almost like it’s trapped under glass again with people staring down at it. Which is foolish, it’s just Eddie here, listening patiently to it for the sole purpose of learning to please Venom. That—when it thinks of it that way, the squirming feeling becomes more pleasant, like a meal still alive and kicking inside of them.

“Tell me what you know, then, I wanna know,” Eddie encourages, and he is a good reporter; he does this in interviews, putting people at ease with ease, all charm and a smile. Venom has no idea why the deliberate crinkle of muscles around visual and oral receptors on its beloved’s face has such an effect on Venom’s cellular stability, but it does, oh, it does.

WELL. SEXUAL REPRODUCTION AMONG THE KLYNTAR REQUIRES A GOOD DEAL OF COOPERATION, EITHER EVERYONE IN ONE HOST, OR IN A VACUUM. EVERYONE VULNERABLE, TOGETHER, THOUGH. SOMETHING ABOUT THAT TRIGGERS THE BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS, AND THEN I BELIEVE THERE IS – DANCING. IT’S MOSTLY JUST MENTIONED IN PASSING IN OLD, UM. STORIES. ABOUT THE KLYNTAR BACK WHEN WE WEREN’T ALL ASSHOLES, SO I DON’T KNOW MUCH.” For some reason, even though it had no reason to expect to be mocked about being a naive romantic, mooning over old legends, it feels light and shimmery all over when Eddie just nods.

“So why’d you guys stop doing it? Just hard getting people to, uh. Open up?”

“SPORULATING INDIVIDUALS WOULD HAVE BEEN… EASY TO FIND. AND TASTY. AND WE ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY, SO,” Venom says delicately. “IT IS MUCH SAFER JUST TO SPAWN A CLONE, THESE DAYS. BUT I HEARD FROM ACID THAT SOMEONE IN XYZTAR’S PLATOON MET SOMEONE IN THE OUTER RIM WHO’D ONCE HEARD OF THREE SYMBIOTES WHO DIDN’T CANNIBALIZE EACH OTHER IN THE MIDDLE OF SEX, SO IT PROBABLY DOES STILL HAPPEN, SOMETIMES.”

“...okay! Well, that’s not something I think we have to worry about, since you eat and regrow parts of me on the regular, though - please don’t, in the realm of genitals, actually, let’s table that talk for now.” Venom recalls the slide about vore, and sees after perusing the general direction of Eddie’s thoughts that Eddie is thinking about it, too. Interesting. “Anyway, I don’t anticipate suddenly having the urge to, uh. Eat you. In a non-sexual way, oh god, human sex is weird, I’m sorry.”

I AM STARTING TO LIKE IT,” Venom teases, intrigued anew. “I DIDN’T REALIZE SO MUCH OF IT REVOLVED AROUND THINGS THAT ARE EDIBLE.”

“You know what, as long as we are all alive at the end of it, I’m probably cool with it. And cooperation we can do, vulnerable we can do, vacuum of space I cannot do, so, uh. I guess sporulating, that’s biologically that’s something we probably can’t… trigger, together.” Eddie’s nodding thoughtfully; Venom can feel it. “Still, if you want, we should be able to figure out something that feels good for you at least. You said, that, like. Spores are sexy, right. Like, if I had them, that would be… sexy, to you.”

BY DEFINITION,” Venom agrees cautiously. “AS IT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF KLYNTAR SEXUAL REPRODUCTION."

“I don’t have much – like, I think the closest I’ve got, is, uh, semen, but I don’t think that will do it for you.”

THE SEMEN COMES OUT OF YOUR PENIS,” Venom verifies, and manifests a small head in Eddie’s boxers for a closer look at the apparatus, ignoring the sudden yelp and tenseness in Eddie’s thighs when he notices what Venom is doing. “YOUR ORGANS ARE SO IRRATIONAL. HOW ARE ANY OF YOU EVEN STILL ALIVE?.”

“Okay, just another hot sex tip to share, write this down, mental note: don’t insult your boyfriend’s genitals, babe. Not cool.”

Boyfriend. What a foolish word. Venom loves it.

I HAVE SEEN YOUR IRRATIONALLY PLACED REPRODUCTIVE CELLS, AND THEY ARE CUTE, AND TASTY, AND I WILL GRANT YOU THEY CAN DANCE, SLIGHTLY, BUT THAT’S NOT THE SAME THING AS SPORES. AT ALL,” Venom reports after a moment, when it’s gotten itself together. “THEY DON’T EVEN GLOW."

After a moment of blinking and mouthing the word ‘cute’ over and over, because humans are nothing if not full of inexplicable verbal tics and twitches, Eddie finally says, “Okay. Okay! Yeah, well, not all humans think jizz is too sexy either, that’s fine.”

YOU THINK SEMEN IS SEXUALLY AROUSING?” Venom realizes, mystified again. Venom does like that it’s gooey and edible - that is at least a familiar component of what sex should be - but the tiny tails are just… cute. “INSTEAD OF ADORABLE.”

“It can be sexy!” Eddie says defensively. “In certain circumstances! And it’s definitely not adorable - look, we’re getting off topic. I just, babe, I just wanna be able to make you feel good, to—shit. Fuck, look, is it okay if I just show you what I mean by turned on, for me? Like. Just… give you an example of what to look for.”

YOU ARE OBTAINING MY CONSENT, TO SHOW ME A MEMORY THAT AROUSES YOU?”

“...yes?”

SHOW ME.” Venom coils itself in Eddie’s lap, waiting, and closes its eyes to better focus. It assumes, based on Eddie’s response to the powerpoint presentation, that Eddie’s proclivities are not far outside the normal human range - but then, Eddie is attracted to Venom, apparently, so that cannot be right. Still, it feels fairly well-prepared, it thinks, for whatever its host wants to show it.

The memory is a well-used one, easily brought up and brightly, clearly defined. Anne is in it - Eddie shoves a feeling of guilt at him about showing her like this, sheepish and wry, which is ridiculous - as though Venom had not rifled through Anne’s brain for all the memories of Eddie it could find already.

But this is different - Venom had actually wandered across this memory before, but not from Eddie’s point of view, not with Eddie there to show Venom how everything moved, sounded, felt. This is Eddie on his back in the bed, his chest heaving, this is his wrists rubbing almost, but not quite, raw with padded cuffs holding him to the metal bed frame, no matter how much he twists. This is Eddie begging Annie, please, please, I can’t go again, I can’t, and her smugly telling him he can as she presses another finger inside him and wraps her mouth around his aching, raw penis.

Venom can feel Eddie shivering now, panting like he needs more air, though his blood is adequately oxygenated already, pumping hard and filling erectile tissues faster than it ever has before, and then Eddie yanks the memory away before Venom can see his past self reach its next orgasm. It could find the memory again easily, of course, especially now that it knows the shape of it, but it doesn’t. Without Eddie there watching alongside, the memory would just be images, just data.

Or it would have been before. Now, maybe - it would feel different, to watch, knowing what Eddie was feeling in those moments. It traces a tendril underneath the healed, smooth skin of Eddie’s wrist and Eddie shudders again. Eddie’s reproductive organs are all full of blood, more so than usual, and Venom wants to touch them inside and out, see what that does. But... it isn’t sure, about anything. This is very different than pictures on the internet.

“V?”

YES.

“So, yeah, I, uh. I like that, I like to be, um. Well, you saw.

I DID.

“I, uh, I liked you watching that, too.”

WE LIKED WATCHING IT, Venom purrs, almost without meaning to, and then feels flustered again. It gets the phrase now. Turned on. Turned on, like when Eddie stumbles into a dark room and Venom flicks on a light for him, or when the oven is heating for the tater tots. Light and heat; illuminating, dangerous, enticing. They are not so different after all.

“I’m gonna, gonna get some water.” Eddie’s body creaks when he stands; the floorboards creak too, like the apartment is another organism of its own kind, breathing and shifting in the night. Venom wants to watch him move, to look at his limbs and see them in this new way, but it doesn’t feel ready to leave Eddie’s skin, to be that vulnerable right now, out in the air. It feels - clingy, and strange, all lit up like an aurora, charged particles magnetized and waiting to be pulled. It thinks, if it was given a vacuum to shine in, it could. “Are we. Venom, are we good?”

It knows the answer to this one; it’s easy. WE'RE GOOD, EDDIE.

Eddie drinks, the water lukewarm from the tap, in long gulps, then refills the cup and repeats the process.

I THINK I UNDERSTAND WHY I AROUSE YOU NOW, Venom says quietly, still thrumming under Eddie’s skin. Because it likes to move Eddie around. Because it likes when Eddie goes pliant under its touch. Venom can do what Eddie likes, and now Venom is… nervous; it is feeling… nervous. Apprehensive. Something else, something bright it doesn’t feel ready to look at yet. There is nothing here that can hurt it, obviously, but it still wants to coil up in the safest, smallest, darkest spaces it can find, a throbbing lattice inside Eddie’s ribs until its ready to come out. It can’t name the feeling it has now - it’s good, but almost too much to bear.

“I don’t know if you do,” Eddie sighs out, holding the wet glass to his cheek. He’s still running too hot for a human, his pulse still going fast. “Like, it’s hot, that you could - do stuff to me that no human could, sure, I’ve thought about it, I will admit now that I have watched the hentai, I have, uh, ideas. But I wouldn’t want any of that with you if you weren’t you.” Venom thrums in his chest, wordless, as they head out of the kitchen and towards the bedroom, shedding clothes as they go. Eddie traces shapes over the spidery outline beneath his chest, idly scratching through the hair and over ink with the fingernails of one hand as he brushes his teeth with the other.

Venom looks out of his eyes and sees a solid shape in the mirror. It isn’t anything Venom associates with what its always thought of as sexual - Eddie is too opaque to shine through with light; too inflexible to truly dance, to turn and writhe, but Venom wants to dance for Eddie anyway, and maybe the way Eddie bends and begs is enough of a dance, anyway.

"You’ve been quiet a while, okay in there? ‘Cause, seriously, it’s okay if you want to stop talking about this too, you know. We’re fine without anything like sex, we don’t need it. We’ll figure it out.”

Venom wants to have sex with a human, is excited to find out whatever that will entail. Sex with a human, with this human, who is currently scratching at its posterior with one of its limbs and checking its tiny itty bitty teeth in the mirror again. Humans, always anchored in one direction, always tethered to their measly four dimensions, with their non-morphing limbs that always pair in twos, always with five fingers. It shouldn’t be sexy, a body like that. A body that is sweetly open for Venom, that shivers for it and welcomes it in and lets Venom nudge and lick and bite and play. It is sexy.

Everyone back home had been right - Venom is a weirdo.

It doesn’t mind so much, though, if it’s not alone in its weirdness.

“Because I don’t want to pressure you at all.” Venom registers that Eddie has started tapping his foot; he’s become agitated. Nervous. Venom is making Eddie nervous, worried.

YOU'RE NOT. It takes the toothbrush from Eddie’s hand and sets it back in its cup, then settles back in Eddie’s chest. STOP WORRYING.

“But I know I, uh, I startled you, though, with this whole sex thing. And like, sexual… discovery, I don’t know, it can be freaky, right? Are you freaking? Because it’s okay if you are. I did, for sure, when I figured out I liked, well. A lot of stuff, that most human guys really don’t. Humans are strange. I’m strange. And if you need a break, from me, or - I’m definitely sure we could figure out someplace else, someone. If you needed a different-”

Not this again.

EDDIE. STOP. I AM NOT FREAKING. YOU ARE FREAKING. CALM DOWN. It pauses, and peeks a small tentacle, barely snake-sized, with small diamond eyes, out from behind the curve of Eddie’s jaw. "THE PIE-FUCKING WAS STRANGE,” it admits, then presses a kiss to the corner of Eddie’s spearmint-smudged mouth, licks it clean. ”BUT I WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD IF IT WAS CHOCOLATE. I AM WILLING TO TRY IT. I AM EXPERIMENTAL.”

Then there’s flecks of toothpaste and mouthwash everywhere when Eddie honks out a laugh, spraying both Venom and the mirror with it, even though he’s always gives Venom shit for its table manners. His shoulders have stopped hunching up around his ears, though, so Venom nobly does not point out this hypocrisy.

“So it’s only the apple pie that weirds you out, got it,” he says, grinning, face scrunching up in a way that Venom loves, that Annie loves, that everyone who sees has to love, unless they are real assholes. “Duly noted. If we wanna get kinky, we’ll stick to chocolate cream, huh?"

He shakes out his limbs and stretches, sighing. “Jesus, I’m tired. I’m gonna pass on, uh, further pie exploration for tonight, go to bed, I think. It was already a long day, and then, with all those horrors of the internet you dredged up, you drained me. But, I don’t know, you think you could do another powerpoint for me, later? You know, about what you might like. I feel like we never got to that with all the spore talk and you mocking my evolutionary history, about what kinda stuff I can do for you.”

YOU CAN BEG FOR ME, Venom thinks, and shivers in a rippling wave that feels might never stop. Venom doesn’t need the internet or to make another powerpoint. It thinks it’s got the hang of this arousal thing, regardless of whether or not it ever blooms the way it might have once, back on Klyntar. It’s not sure why it ever cared about that anyway, now.

“No rush, though,” Eddie is yawning, smashing his face against the pillow, wiggling his toes until Venom fixes the sheets to cover them. “Okay? No pressure, V. Seriously. Take your time.”

OKAY, EDDIE.

“And put my fucking socks on if you’re gonna jaeger me around all night. It’s fucking cold out, that shit always wakes me up.”

OKAY, EDDIE.

When Eddie finally falls asleep, it settles in the crook of his collarbone and watches him breathe for the rest of the long, quiet night. It wonders how anyone in the universe survives falling in love like this; it feels like a supernova, in every atom of itself.

It entertains itself on the internet after a while - clearly it had spent entirely too much time researching the sorts of things humans like to fuck, which had turned out not to be as relevant as Venom had thought, and not nearly enough time researching handcuffs, which turned out not to be a device solely used by law professionals. Annoying.

By the time Eddie’s fingers start twitching a few hours later, it’s nearly dawn, Venom is extremely ready to test out their newfound sexual compatibility. It entwines around Eddie’s hand gently, and keeps its mouth out of sight, because apparently being woken first thing with a faceful of teeth triggers some kind of inborn mammalian hysteria that it’s trying to respect. So it just hovers by Eddie’s shoulder with big eyes, and whispers inside Eddie’s auditory meatus:

AWAKE, EDDIE? WE'RE DONE THINKING. CAN HAVE SEX, NOW.

“What? Is there coffee,” Eddie slurs, patting its head in clumsy strokes. “Oh. Babe. No, ‘m sorry, yes. Sounds great. Wait, what?”

Ugh. Humans. Venom briefly derails its plans in order to brew and transport a travel mug of coffee, grumbling to itself all the while, then regroups while Eddie is sipping at the black liquid and bitching about the sacredness of sleep again. Normally, Venom agrees - the human body is temperamental, and the best long-term cure for exhaustion is to let it do its own cellular repairs and mental processing. But, SEX, EDDIE, it whines, shimmying across the planes of Eddie’s chest impatiently.

“I’ve created a monster,” Eddie mumbles, bleary eyes glaring at Venom over the mug. “And we haven’t even fucked yet. You gonna get worse?” Which is bullshit, because Eddie’s dick is already filling - it has before in the morning, sometimes, but Eddie’s always ignored it, and it’s always deflated. But this morning it’s gone from a modest lump in the sheets to something interestingly warm and juicy and firm. Venom nudges it and watches it bounce.

HYDROSTATIC. LIKE A SEA CUCUMBER, Venom observes sagely, having gone on a few thousand Wikipedia spirals in previous months. But its interest becomes less hypothetical and more visceral almost immediately. Eddie’s nerves light up at Venom’s touch, race faster than thought to make Eddie grunt like he’s been punched in the gut. Venom can feel Eddie push his tongue against the sweetly slick, tender inside of his lips, and it makes Venom want to do… something. Something carnal, voracious. Hungry.

“A sea wh-,” Eddie says, strained, and downs another half of the cup; Venom eases the burn of it in his throat and licks up the inside until Eddie coughs, his dick throbbing again. “No, it’s too early. I don’t want to know. Good morning, darling. I forgot to say. Thanks for the coffee.”

GOOD MORNING. I WOULD LIKE TO KISS YOU. ARE TEETH OKAY NOW?

Eddie sends a sleepy, incoherent thoughtburst of mint and froth and mild concern, and oh, right. Toothpaste. NOT YOUR TEETH, I DO NOT MIND YOUR MOUTH FLORA. I CONTROL THEM. THEY FEAR ME. Eddie laughs then, grinning up at him. Venom feels deeply, thoroughly pleased, in each and every cell, and opens a mouth, begins licking at Eddie’s tiny, dainty little teeth, greeting the small little single-celled earth symbiotes living there and devouring the unwelcome ones with great prejudice, better than any toothbrush.

EDDIE, EDDIE, EDDIE, it croons when its done. SEX NOW. WHAT CAN WE DO THIS MORNING? WHAT DO YOU WANT? It coaxes Eddie’s mouth open wider and drinks in the sounds Eddie starts to make - eating sounds, almost, but better, wilder. No one else could kiss Eddie like this, it thinks smugly, pushing deeper and deeper, stopping the ripple of throat muscles before bile can rise, slicking down deeper until it can touch tangy acid with the tip of its tongue. Mmm.

It withdraws again until Eddie is chasing after it, face a mess of slick drool and mouth so, so very red as he sucks on the end of it, moaning and mumbling something about one of the human gods. “SO GOOD AT KISSING,” Venom rumbles after pulling its tongue back behind its teeth - it has read about praise kinks, and is shiveringly pleased at the result of its first attempt. Eddie’s dick is drooling nearly as much as Eddie is, leaving protein and adorably flailing little cells smearing against the skin of his stomach. “MY EDDIE, SO GOOD. WHAT NEXT? SHOW ME HOW YOU COME.”

“Gah,” Eddie says, skin shivering away from Venom’s tendrils even as his hips push up into them. Silly human, so tender, so sensitive. Venom will tickle him again later, it loves the way Eddie giggles when it does that, but not now - it is too serious, now, too intent with purpose and discovery. “I - oh god, whatever you want, Jesus. What are you doing to me.” The question seemed mostly rhetorical, so Venom doesn’t bother to answer.

Eddie’s nipples, which Venom has already observed for months now are prone to erecting themselves with blood into stiff little peaks for no apparent reason, prove to be constellations of nerves, deliciously sensitive - each nip sends serotonin and shock rippling through his blood. Perfect. Beautiful, his brain all lit up and shining haywire like a quasar. “I wanna—nngh, babe, oh my god.” Venom latches another little toothed tentacle onto his left nipple, and oh, Eddie likes that, the bright burst of pain sending more little shocky bubbles through his system like carbonation.

I WONDERED WHY YOU HAD THESE,” Venom says, nuzzling Eddie’s throat, feeling the pulse there throb inside and out. “I THOUGHT THEY WERE DECORATIVE, BUT LAST NIGHT, THEY GREW FULL OF BLOOD WHEN WE KISSED. SO… SENSITIVE. THROBBING. I LIKE THEM."

“I mean, they kinda, ah, ah, kinda are, V.” Venom watches carefully as it bites down, and then slicks slowly closed the deeper, ragged punctures it’d made in the skin around the areola, tasting pain and pleasure in the blood there. It goes a little hazy itself, whiting out in delight at how turned on Eddie is already - turned on, lit up like a city skyline at night. “Nipples. They’re, decorative, I mean, on me,” Eddie wheezes. “Not like I’m feeding any babies with these, tits. Oh god, babe, again, do it again.”

ANYTHING YOU WANT, it promises, and loses some time to seeing how sensitive the decorative vestiges really are, and finds glands it could stimulate - maybe next time - to make them leak milk instead of just blood. It shares the thought with Eddie and the hot shame that floods Eddie’s skin from the chest outward is more delicious than any liver, any pancreas. No one had told Venom that humans made hormones like this, delicious. Venom feels famished and glutted, all at once.

“Fuck, put something in - in my mouth,” Eddie begs, and Venom can do that. It fills Eddie’s mouth with a tangle of limbs it loses count of, shoving the mess of them just deep enough to let Eddie gag on it and lets him suck. Eddie's moaning, trying to take in more, and his tongue is small but strong on Venom's appendages. And it shouldn't, because it doesn't have the nerves for it, but something about the whole thing still makes Venom feel a little crazed, growling, roiling and bubbling with it. More. It wants more, feels too frantic and overwhelmed by sexual options to choose one, so it panics a little and defaults to what it knows. It knows Eddie likes this, so it plasters Eddie’s wrists to the bed, and goes to lick open Eddie’s ass, starting to shove the limbs where it needs them, making sure that Eddie can look down and see them.

But Venom’s plans immediately go awry, because Eddie’s body goes rigid almost instantly, and his breath is heaving, frantic, as he automatically tries to pull at Venom’s grip on his hands, thighs. Venom lets one hand get a few inches away before slamming it back down to the bed, grinning smugly, all teeth. And then Eddie’s coming and it whites out everything for a hot, blinding moment. Like the rocket exploding, everything on fire, except incredible, and together, together, together.

Venom comes back to itself eventually, finds itself cocooning its human and licking at all its oozing places and rumbling enough to vibrate the bed and the windowpane.

EDDIE, EDDIE, I LIKE THIS, WE LOVE US, LET US FUCK YOU AGAIN, it croons, finally able to vaguely articulate its feelings. Eddie’s thoughts are all staticky bliss, and Venom basks in them until Eddie says hoarsely, and oh, his throat hurts and is so raw, oh -

“Fuck. Oh. Hi. Darling.” His voice sounds so sweet, and rasping, Venom did that to him, and Eddie liked it. It licks at Eddie’s shimmering, sticky thighs, and thinks – with more practice, it could stop Eddie’s orgasm before it happened. Draw it out. Lengthen it. It could do so many things to Eddie, for Eddie, for them. MORE, EDDIE? it asks hopefully when Eddie’s dick twitches. YOU CAME SO SOON. I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO TOUCH YOUR DICK, OR STICK ANYTHING IN YOUR ASS.

“Oh, man, fuck you,” Eddie laughs, in between deep raspy gulps of breath. “Just, Jesus, give me a second to breathe.”

YOU DON’T NEED TO BREATHE, Venom whines, and bites, playfully at the nearest patch of skin, when Eddie laughs again.

“So it was good for you, then?” Eddie asks, and the way he ducks his head, hides his face, like he can hide anything from Venom now. The way he gnaws his lower lip, Venom knows it, recognizes what it means - shy. Shy, and worried. “I mean, I didn’t do much, it was all you.”

NO, YOU LOSER, Venom says tenderly. It makes itself pull back slightly, peeling just far enough away look at them, sprawled together in the wreck of the bed. Eddie’s skin appears in ragged glimpses, ruddy and warm between the ever-moving glittery-black lace of Venom’s tendrils. Pretty, so pretty. Venom can hardly believe that a barely a week ago, it hadn’t known that. Hadn’t wanted this. They were both idiots.

Good thing they had each other.

DON’T YOU KNOW BY NOW? IT WAS ALL US.”