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Learning Curve - (Venom, M, 3/3)


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Good morning. Venom 2018 was a fucking trash fire and I loved every second of it. If you did too, and you're inclined towards poly relationships, goopy monsters, etc. this might be the fic for you! If not, uh, probably don't explore this one. 

I posted this on tumblr but I never proofread anything so God forgive me any fucky sentences. Enjoy!


Two weeks of no contact should, realistically, not even blip on her radar. She's spent the last six months trying to ignore, avoid, and otherwise put Eddie Brock completely out of her sights, her mind, and her life. She's an attorney, for God's sake, the very definition of a strong and independent woman. Even her rebound boyfriend is a carefully selected pinnacle of every desirable partner characteristic -- handsome, kind, sensitive, intelligent. 

Sure, maybe there was some... shared trauma in the middle there, brief but intense, but that's over and Eddie seems to be getting his feet back under him, and Anne is happy and Dan is happy.

Which is why it throws her for a fucking loop, as they're putting up dishes after a night in of pad thai, a bad movie, and so-so sex. 

"... have you spoken to Eddie, recently?" Dan asks, as he towel-dries a dish to a soft, gleaming polish.

Anne freezes for an awkward second, her fingers soap-slick from the sink, then clears her throat and opts immediately for the cool defensive. "Why would I speak to Eddie?"

Dan blinks at her with big, dark eyes. "Oh, I just wondered." There's nothing at all suspicious or combative in his tone, not even manipulative, as if he's trying to catch her in a gotcha moment of angrily pining over her ex. Anne is pretty good at seeing straight through people like that. In some small part, she might even have her relationship with Eddie to thank for that. The thought gives her some justified agency, when she rolls her eyes in response.

"I don't have any reason to talk to him. He's a grown man, I'm sure he's fine."

Dan nods, and is silent for a space that feels more oppressive by the minute. The tension and worry and, somewhere deep down, the guilt wind tighter and tighter in Anne's chest, until she thinks she really might snap at her poor, hapless bleeding soul of a boyfriend, when Dan breaks the quiet first.

"It's just... he's been through a lot. Physically, emotionally. You both have." 

Anne narrows her eyes at him. "... do you... want me to talk to Eddie?"

Dan gives her a boyscout smile. "It can't hurt to call, right?"


Anne shoves the thought to the back of her mind, where it roils like ink and sticky tendrils, dark and inscrutable. She manages to shut up up for nearly twenty-four hours, but finally caves a little after lunch. With a groan, she finds herself punching a familiar set of digits into her phone. It's long been deleted from her Contacts list, along with the hearts framing his name, but Anne resolutely doesn't think about this as she waits for the tone to ring through to voicemail. Dan's right, it can't hurt to at least leave a message.

Eventually, she'll learn to stop hanging onto these life rafts of thought, because Anne gets the tide swept out from beneath her for the second, embarrassing time when the line picks up three rings in..

"... Annie?"

Shit shit shit. She had her three or four lines of polite outreach all rehearsed in her head, and was fully prepared to tuck and roll away from it like any well-seasoned soldier in the war of navigating ex-relationships. Why she didn't factor in the possibilty that Eddie might actually come to her grenade like a dog to the hunt is beyond her. What is it about this man that makes her lose all sense?

"... hi, Eddie," she manages, after a beat that only goes on a few seconds longer than it should. "I was just. Uh. Calling. To check up on you."

There's silence from the other end of the line for a moment, too. Anne restlessly turns the small name plaque on her chest around and around, an anxious fidget spinner for well-to-do adults. 

"... yeah?" The voice on the other end of the line answers at last, cracking a little. Eddie clears his throat audibly, snuffles, and continues in a tone so unexpectedly thick and congested that she has the sudden, horrific notion that he's been crying. "That's n'dice of you. Snffh! Uh, sorry. I mean, yeah. I'm. I'm okay." Oh, no. Oh, no no no. She isn't even remotely equipped to deal with this possibility, and sits back heavily in her chair, feeling her resolve fracture.

"Jesus, Eddie. You sound awful. Are you sure that...?"

There's a noisy clatter somewhere in the background, some muffled shuffling of fabric or paper, and then Eddie clears his throat again. It's a little too loud in the receiver, and Anne flinches. "Oh, uh, yeah. I'mb just... I got a cold or the flu or somethin', it's ndothi-ihh..." His voice wavers and breaks into a heady exhale that crackles through static feedback. "Oh... hang... ha'hgohddasec..."

She's grateful that Eddie at least has the wherewithall to turn the phone into his chest or shoulder, providing her with a muffling layer of interference that doesn't quite cancel out the distant sound of him sneezing helplessly, violently into the background.


Anne sits wide-eyed, helpless, as a depth charge series of coughs translates weirdly through the sound baffling, only to clarify a few moments later when Eddie presumably returns the phone to his ear. He sniffles in a quick, wet flurry that should put her immediately off, but Anne can't find the ire or disgust to spare. She feels limp, instead, wilted and gullible.

"Yeah, uhm. Like I was sayin', it's nothing."

"It doesn't sound like nothing," Anne frowns. "Eddie, you were really sick for a while there. Like really sick. Are you taking care of yourself? Dan actually mentioned wanting to re-run your labs to me, making sure everything's stabilized, but--..."

"No." The sound is a growl, liquid and gravelled and Eddie but not, human but more, and it stuns Anne in a period of half-grateful, half-furious science.

Fucking Eddie, fucking Venom...

"... he's still in there, isn't he?"

"Uh." She can practically hear Eddie break into a sweat, if he isn't already soaked and clammy right down to the bone. "It's just..." Throatclear, too loud. "Just some holdover, I think? It's fine. I'll -- snff! -- I'll be really fine."

"Eddie, wait...!"

"Bye Annie, nice of you to check in!"
Click. Goddammit. 


She tells Dan about it, that night. It's a new thing she's trying, not keeping any secrets in a relationship, and the whole thing is easier said than done. It helps that Dan is so empathetic. He doesn't look angry at all, when she confesses her concerns, her agitation at Eddie withholding that kind of information from her as if... as if... 

Well, is it any of her business, still? They're not dating, they don't need to be in one another's lives. The humanitarian part of her should, of course, be concerned about the concept of an invasive, homicidal alien life form at large in San Francisco. Despite all the news media fall-out from the Life Foundation's current political and social turmoil, however, she can't recall seeing any reports of an oily black eight foot tall monster rampaging down the city streets. So hooray, the symbiote might be behaving itself, and not wreaking rampant havoc on all of its surroundings. Whoop-de-doo. 

"I'm just worried," Anne confesses with a sigh, dropping her forehead against his shoulder. Dan rubs her back reassuringly.

"Me too, especially about the physical effects of it all. That symbiote's like nothing we've ever seen before, obviously. But I guess we can't force his hand," he admits, in a peculiar, resigned kind of tone she's only heard him use to talk about work, and only about the cases that have personally affected him. She knows that Dan's job as a doctor requires some necessary amount of compartmentalization, some emotional distance from the cases he just can't or couldn't save, but also knows that that kind of mentality carries its own toll.

He's right, though. If they make too much noise in any direction, that's just going to put Eddie in the wrong kind of spotlight, and that might in the end be worse for him. She knows what goes on in the Life Foundation's test labs, and even if the organization is in free fall right now, there are a dozen other start-ups who would be all too happy to continue the work, with or without the participant's full consent. 

She's worried about Eddie, yes, but just for the night she pushes it to the back of her head once more, and tries to focus on what she has in the here and now. It's another small concession she's been trying to live by.


Despite all of her temporary, safehold methods of avoiding the issue, the concept of Eddie Brock once again proves itself her own kind of unavoidable parasite. She wakes the following morning to Dan already getting ready for work, suit and tight neatly pressed, and a four minute-long, empty voice mail from Eddie. It looks like he sent it around 2 AM, long after she'd turned her phone off for the night. 

There's barely any discernible sound in the message -- no shuffling sheets or clothes, no heavy breathing, not even any sad little sniffles or coughs and definitely not any spoken word. It's very possible that it was a middle-of-the-night misdial. It's equally possible that it's a cry for help.

After letting Dan listen to it, her brows now almost permanently stitched together in a way that is definitely going to leave age lines, Anne sighs. "I don't have any depositions today. I'm... I'm going to go stop by. Check on him."

"That's a good idea," Dan agrees. He hesitates, but Anne can already read in his expression that this is not the look of a jealous boyfriend worried that she's going to go scrabbling back to her ex-fiance. He's never had that look, not once. If anything, the expression Dan tilts her is hesitating for different reasons. "Be careful, though, okay? If the symbiote is still around, we don't know how volatile it is."

On paper, Anne can agree with him. As a woman who, however briefly, allowed that thick black goo from beyond the stars to wrap around her own brain and heart, briefly glimpsing its own inner workings? Well. She's not worried about ending up in its warpath.

"It'll be okay."

"And if he looks really bad, call me, okay? I don't want to hospitalize and draw attention if we don't have to, but I really am..."

"Worried, I know. How did anyone get so lucky to end up with you?" She sighs, exasperated but fond as she stands up on her tip toes to peck him on the lips. Dan flushes in a way that makes him look like a gawkish, gangling teenager again and not one of California's top orthopedic surgeons. 

"Okay, well. Keep me updated."


"Jesus Christ, Eddie," Anne gawks, at the entrance to her ex's little one-room flat. She knew he was living frugally now, and that there were some growing pains to anticipate while living with an alien symbiote, but the ruined remains of Eddie's living space looks like he's thrown a one-man rager between himself and a mountain lion jacked up on coke.

Eddie looks like he hates himself for answering the door at all, and Anne doesn't doubt that there may well have been a fierce internal battle waged on the matter. Whoever has come out the victor, him or the symbiote, she's not sure, but Eddie is wretched as he stands there. Pale, shaking, with his hair mussed into a hundred rumpled peaks, and a nose rubbed so red and raw that it nearly glows with pain. He sniffles miserably, and pulls the hem of the blanket up over the lower half of his face, as if to shield her from his germs.

"Uhm. Hey. Don't, uh. Don't look."

Oh, Annie looks. She stares over his shoulder, but it's a hard sell between his crashed pad and the flu-riddled ruination of her ex-fiance, and eventually he wins out.

"... are... are you okay? I mean honestly? Dan and I are really..."

His expression twitches strangely at her wording, and maybe it is weird to Eddie to have two people that still care about him, in spite of... well. Everything. Maybe Anne is projecting. He softens, either way, and clears his throat quietly into a blanket-cupped palm.

"I meant it, Annie. It's okay, he's keepin' me going," he slurs, looking pretty fucking out of it, and yet still cognizant enough to intuit what she's really after. "We got, um. Some ground rules laid ouhh--hh... hh!!"

Anne isn't raring to step into the germ-riddled warzone of his apartment, but she still cringes and subconsciously tries to fill the doorway with as much of herself and her purse as possible, as if to provide some shield of privacy for Eddie as he grimaces his way towards an incumbent sneeze.

He stumbles a few steps away from her, narrowly avoiding the shattered remains of a potted plant spilling it soil guts out onto the floor. An arm caped in a blanket hem cuts up, but he still nearly crumbles in half as he whirls aside and sneezes with an awful, scraping sound. It's like he's summoned it up from his very core.

"--hackktt... SSCHHOO!" 

Anne stares for a long, long moment at the thick black claws that clutch his opposite shoulder, as if to keep the whole construct of himself upward as Eddie sways in the aftermath and looks completely punch-drunk.

Eventually, he sniffs, seems to remember that she's there at all, and offers Anne a rheumy, abashed look.

"... s'cuse m'be. We got some groun'd rules," he continued with a thick sniff, then a swallowed that made him wince. "But then I got fuckin'... typhoid fever, and there was kind've a learning curve."

His voice breaks in about twelve different places, cracked with inflammation and anxiety and all of the other messy, ugly parts about Eddie that she wanted to pack up in a cardboard box, tape over, and neatly label Past Mistakes.

Instead, Anne sighs, digs into her purse for a minute, and then thrusts a travel pack of tissues at him. Eddie looks at it dumbly for a second, then takes it. Doesn't open it, or seem to even know what to do with them, but he holds the tiny plastic packet and looks back at her in a way that seals her doom.

"It's not typhoid, don't be so dramatic," she sighs. "Go pack a change of clothes. You're coming with me."

Something in his expression pulls for a second, and if she blinked she'd have missed the little misting shadow of black and silver that curls over his retinas, just for an instant.

"I don't... I don'wanna go to th'hospital."

Anne closes her eyes for a second to ward off the crush of weakness that wants to wash over her. When she opens them again, it's with untold reserves of patience. This will like navigating a gauntlet full of bloodthristy crocodiles and weepy children, and she's not sure if she's up for it or what the end goal is, but she's signed on now and there's no neat Irish goodbye to be found here.

"No, I know. But I actually don't want to leave you... you two alone like this, so we'll come back to my place. Okay?"

Eddie squints at her like he's looking directly into the sun. "... okay."

Edited by Garblin
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I haven't had the chance to see the movie yet sadly but this was great so far! Can't wait for more! 

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I’ve seen the movie and Eddie looked sick as a dog for quite a while. I really don’t mind the slightest reading this story lol Tom Hardy is an eye candy, I love your sneeze spellings and your writing is fantastic!! Keep going I love it!!  :) 

Edited by Coffee Mug
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Okay yeah I haven't seen Venom yet but I agree with Coffee Mug that Tom Hardy is eye candy (plus a fantastic actor and an all around decent human) and I LOVE your writing so I'm here for it. And I'm quite fond of poly relationships in sickfic too!

Your sneeze spellings are to die for and your writing is fantastic!! I can't wait for more.

11 hours ago, Garblin said:

Instead, Anne sighs, digs into her purse for a minute, and then thrusts a travel pack of tissues at him. Eddie looks at it dumbly for a second, then takes it. Doesn't open it, or seem to even know what to do with them, but he holds the tiny plastic packet and looks back at her in a way that seals her doom.

This is ridiculously cute, also.

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This is amazing! Still waiting to see the movie but this makes me want to even more!

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I can’t express how much I loved this and needed this! I’ve seen Venom twice already and I’m sure that I’ll be seeing it again soon. I’ve been really wanting to write a Venom fic and then I saw yours and positively melted. I must have read it no less than 100 times. I can’t wait for the next part and thank you so much for posting this! This was absolute perfection! 😍

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So I also haven't seen the movie yet, but I agree with everyone here (and anyone with eyes tbh) that Tom Hardy is some great eye candy. I actually didn't really see it until recently when I was scrolling through twitter. A Tom Hardy appreciation post popped up on my timeline and just wow. I definitely see it now.:lol:

You're writing is wonderful but that doesn't surprise me because it always is. Your style of congested dialogue is some of my favorite. I'm not a big fan of overemphasized congested writing because it comes across as unrealistic to me, but that's never the case with you.

16 hours ago, Garblin said:

"Oh, uh, yeah. I'mb just... I got a cold or the flu or somethin', it's ndothi-ihh..." His voice wavers and breaks into a heady exhale that crackles through static feedback. "Oh... hang... ha'hgohddasec..."

This part really got to me. That rushed end combined with the irony of claiming he's fine while obviously not is just delicious. Just everything about this first part is :drool:

So yeah, this is absolutely lovely and I can't wait to read more!

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Oh, jeez, y'all are so sweet! I really appreciate every one of your comments ❤️ Also, for those that haven't seen the movie yet, please do and I hope that you enjoy! The critics have maligned the shit out of it but it's honestly a really dumb, fun, and kinda sexy monster superhero movie. Like, basically all that my 2018 ass could ask for? Also, quite correct, Tom Hardy looks like a dirty, sweaty, sick hobo for 90% of it. Anyway, here's the next part.



By this point, Anne is not actually expecting Dan to even be surprised when he drops by that evening, for the date night that she'd completely forgotten about in the midst of the newest problem on her hands.

The problem's name is Eddie Brock, sometimes Venom, and he's passed out on her living room couch, shivering and sweating under a pile of far more generous blankets than he could provide for himself. Dan sets down his bag with a wide-eyed expression.

"Shit," Anne mutters, sheepish. "I meant to... I was going to text and warn you, but I lost track of the time." Eddie is well and truly out of it, so she doesn't hush her tone as she quickly puts aside her own plastic bags from her rush trip to the corner pharmacy, for supplies. She greets Dan just inside the kitchen, with an apologetic kiss. 

"Is everything... okay?" For the first time, he sounds just a little bit uncertain of the situation, and Anne's heart breaks a little bit too, because look. She's done fucking around with herself -- she still loves Eddie, but she loves Dan too. So much that she shoves a hand back through her hair, ruining her neatly pressed bob, and cringes at the awkward mess of it all. If she's not careful, or honest, she's going to lose both of them. 

"It's fine? Nothing happened, if that's what you were... I just. He's got a fever, and I didn't think it was bad enough to call, but I didn't want them unsupervised, and..."

Dan's expression changes now, too, still with the Bush Baby eyes but a different sort of alarmed cast to his features as he puts up a hand to stall her.

"Okay, okay wait."

Anne snaps up quiet, trying to silently curtail her million different slipstreams of stress.

"It's not," Dan starts, hesitates again, and darts a skirting little look towards the squallid mess on her sofa. "It's not that, okay? I like Eddie." He puts a soft but meaningful hand on her shoulder when he says it. It could be an idle, comforting boyfriend gesture, too. He's too empathetic, too gentle, too caring, and will just accept this love into her life like a dutiful and submissive partner.

Except that Anne has dated Dan for enough time now to know some of his tells, and that he doesn't fit that frame. He's a nice guy, but he has his own desires too. Something new and unfamiliar but not entirely unwelcome slots into place.

"You like him," she repeats, slowly. 

Dan's hand retreats with shuddering degrees. His look would be an unprofessional beacon anywhere else. Here in the weirdo multiverse that has become of her apartment, it's Anne Weying, her boyfriend Dan, their apparent boyfriend elect Eddie Brock, and his symbiote slash maybe also boyfriend Venom.

Jesus fucking Christ, what is her life.

"We can talk about it later?"

"Yeah," Anne agrees, nodding numbly. "Later."


She takes a personal day. There are cases to work on, but nothing too imminent, and nothing she can't do from home if she really wanted to. Dan had spent the night, the pair of them chastely entwined while both pretending not to listen for their guest's occasional, wrenching sneeze, coughing fit, or stumble to the kitchen for a glass of water. The jury was still out on how conscious the host or the symbiote was for any of it, but Anne is relieved in the morning to see her apartment intact and her cat still alive.

Small victories.

She takes Eddie's temperature while he's still slumped out in a loose sprawl on the couch, completely unaware of the metal prodding into the corner of his mouth. Anne has to estimate that the symbiote must be at least a little bit affected by their shared illness. Even if she's long gleaned on to how fond the alien is of her, she wouldn't put it past them to lash out for any slightest, perceived threat to their host. 

102.1. A little frightening, but she's still not in a hurry to rush him to the ER. For all that she knows, his body could spike another fourteen degrees and still be fine, with the symbiote in place. Adversely, this could already be a blaring warning beacon of imminent destruction. What does she know of alien biology? Instead, Anne sticks to what she does know, which is one singular age-old recipe passed down from her grandmother: a good old, no-nonsense and egalatarian chicken soup made from scratch.

Her sliver of domesticity is thin and small, but some fighting part of Anne keeps it alive with her rare, two-or-three times a year home-cooked efforts. 

She's dicing celery, faintly aware of Eddie's soft snuffling and throat noises from the living room. He's just waking up, and might slog out to greet her in another half an hour or so, if her previous experience with her ex's colds have any merit.

Her past experiences have not, however, at all prepared her for the dead weight launch of a several-hundred pound predator, fully realized, up onto her butcher block.

The knife flips out of her hand, her hips meet the the counter, but to her credit, Anne doesn't scream.

Venom looms down at her from his dripping crouch, his toothsome maw drooling open and tongue describing a serpentine motion as he settles.


"... why are you here," she manages, in spite of  her sizzling nerves. She knows this symbiote, she has become it, but still she minces carefully around the hulking gargoyle of a monster, perched on the edge of the counter. Imagine. His head turns to watch her.

"What do you mean." His teeth flash like daggers, eyes just a little too bright. Is Venom feverish as well, or is that her mind acting up?

"I mean. Are you in danger? I just... I'll take care of Eddie," she hedges, then jumps when the creature snarls with echoing conviction.

"I'll take care of Eddie!

Her ire spikes before her sense. She respects Venom, but she's also not shy of catching a sharp hand at his jaw, her fingertips digging into the powerful muscle. The monster's surprise is her defense, even as his slick black trendils coil over the back of her hand. She turns his face to look at her in full.

"I'm taking care of both of you, so you'd better just shut up and accept it."

Venom pours down off of the countertop, all limbs and claws, and rematerializes in a slow storm of sludge, curling and black. He stands, and is nearly twice her height, nearly touching the ceiling, but curls over her with huge, rippling muscles and vicious claws and a low purr.


She plants an open palm to middle of his massive, barrel chest, and pushes the monster gently away.

"No. No hanky panky until you're better."

When the fuck had that been on the table?

Venom wilts at once, expression at once begging. "Annie! What..." He becomes distracted, fortunately, as she forcefully returns her attention to chopping vegetables. Venom's attention scrolls dispassionately over the ingredients laid out over the counter.

"This is disgusting," he growls, jaw tilting as he scents the package of chicken thighs. His lips twitch back over shining incisors, all as long and sharp as her knife. "It's dead!"

"Chicken soup, calm down," Anne huffs. "It's... it's what you make for sick people."

"Bullshit," Venom snarls, reeling back on her. "Bring us live chickens! Raw and clucking. That will do the trick."

Anne grimaces. Where the fuck would she even find live chickens, in the middle of downtown San Francisco? "No. That'll make him sicker."

"It will make us strong!" Venom protests, rising. Her nerves are still raw, not yet accustomed to an alien in the middle of her kitchen. His teeth are dozens of ivory swords, and he's leaning in, and snarling and... and...

Anne watches in grotesque wonder as the whole, vicious shape of the monster furls back. Gasps. Once and again, and with a sudden horror she knows what's coming.

"--hcktt?! SZSCHOOO!"

He doesn't, and it's a fucking disaster of tongue and teeth and splatter all over her kitchen floor and oven door, to say nothing of the tendrils that flash out to stick at the corner of the ceiling, the face of the refridgerator, and crash abruptly through a Fiestaware mixing bowl on her counter. It sails gracefully through the air, hits the ground, and shatters into five neat pieces. But at least he kind of turns his head, and looks so bewildered in the aftermath that Anne can't really be mad.

"What is this," Venom bleats in sudden horror, clawing at his face. Thin ropes of black pull away one his talons, folding and remodelling his own features even as he tries to rip it asunder. "What is this."

"Stop, stop," Anne abandons her efforts at making lunch, and finds herself in a sudden rush to hold the monster by his wrists. Venom looks absolutely panicked. "Jesus! You sneezed, it's not a big deal."

"We are weak! Our host is dying! Eddie!"

At what point, in her life, did she ascend to talking an alien-possessed ex-boyfriend off a ledge in the middle of her damned kitchen?

"He's not..." Her palms pat his thick forearms and their river maps of snaking venous patterns, encouraging the monster into a crouch. "... he's not dying, right? You're not eating him? Organs at full capacity?"

Venom looks mortified. "...no. Not eating."

Anne sighs. "Then it's just... it's just a bug. You'll have to get through it."

Venom looks pathetic, even with muscles that could crunch a school bus and teeth that can, in her own experience, neatly remove a man's head. "How?"

"Go... go sleep for a bit, and I'll bring you some soup when it's ready."

Venom's expression twitches, teeth on full display, claws trembling.

"And... maybe some hot chocolate?" She has a very scrambled, but poignant memory of Eddie in the few hours after the world had nearly ended, non-verbal and silently mowing down Hershey bars. Phenethylamine, he'd snarled, and nothing more.

Chocolate it is. 

"No Swiss Miss shit," Venom growls, as he lopes towards the bedroom. She doesn't recall directing him there, and definitely doesn't know the context in which the symbiote has already identified its favored hot choc mixes.

"Uh, sure. I'll do it from scratch."

"Yesss," Venom hisses, passes the threshold, then seizes and erupts so vigorously that Anne can't even be mad.

"--gchkt... SZSCHOO! Ugh..." 


It takes a while for the soup to simmer. While it's cooking down, Anne makes good on some Pinterest  tips and muddles together cocoa, sugar, salt, water, and milk in steady increments. She's actually a little bit impressed with herself, and might in halves be adopting this housewife lifestyle.

God, no, fuck that. 

Eddie or... Venom or whoever hasn't retreated to the couch. Instead, she pokes her head in to find the sum of them collapsed in her own bed. Mister Belvedere is a snug, long-haired loaf of cat resting at its foot. More importantly, Eddie is curled in a loose, sweaty, sick comma dead center, just like he used to own the place.

It's... mostly Eddie, anyway. He's collapsed in on himself, dingy jeans tucked up to his chest and head bent down into the shelter of his arms. Behind him, however, a thick black shape has emerged and braced a muscular arm across the shuddering human.

The symbiote curls its neck to look at her. It's joined to Eddie near the pelvis, a web of dark strands that stick half to the sheets, and half to Eddie. It snarls, softly, even as it spoons its host.

"Just... sleep, okay?" Anne mutters, as she sets the mug down on the nightstand. She'll deal with the logistics of it all whenever Dan gets home. Ousting a toothsome symbiote from your sleeping place was a lot more complicated than relocating an indignant cat. 

The symbiote growls, lips shivering back like tar as it shifts in its own not-quite-corporeal space. Eddie shivers, and curls tighter in his sleep, smudging the cuff of his hoodie roughly under his nose. His sniffle is liquid, sad, and unconscious. 

"... and please don't eat Mister Belvedere."

Anne finds some comfort in the symbiote's shocked and hurt expression, seconds before it retreats into its host.

"We would never," it hisses, tongue flicking across monstrous teeth.

"We'd never," Eddie mumbles, slurry and still mostly asleep, but the shaking begins to abide. 


The whole thing is start to feel like something suspiciously close to domestic. A weird kind of domestic, to be sure, but the kitchen smells like garlic and chicken broth and all things warm and savory and comforting. Eddie is resting, and Dan is due home soon, and if she forgets the whole alien symbiote thing, it might be something close to normal. As close to normal as you could get, having sleepovers with your ex-fiance and your very current, actual boyfriend.

Still, it's getting easier, going better than she expected. Maybe they'll all get through this with their sanity intact. 

Dan greets her with a kiss and a murmur of surprise, when he gets in. They really should consider moving in at some point, he practically lives at her place now already. That's definitely a Level of Commitment kind of conversation, though, and she's... actually going to pin that underneath that one that's kept bubbling up in her mind all day long. What would it be like...?

"Wow. It smells... amazing in here. You cooked?"

"I can. Sometimes. Savor the moment," Anne pats his chest. "It won't happen often." Just in case he gets any ideas.

"I will if it tastes even half as good," Dan murmurs, cracking up the lid of the pot to peer inside, although Anne quickly shoo's him off.

"It's almost ready. No spoilers."

Dan glances towards the living room couch, still an unmade nest of rumpled blankets and a few crumpled tissues. His brow immediately furrows. "How is... where's...?"

"In, uh, the bedroom," Anne admits sheepishly, with a nod in its direction. "I think he's still pretty feverish. Venom paid me a visit today."

This Dan's brows go up, and she doesn't miss him surreptitiously checking the apartment over for any large-scale damage he'd somehow missed. She can't blame him, either.

"I was about to go check on him, actually."

"You finish up, I'll do it," Dan assures, and disappears into the darkened bedroom. 

Anne goes back to stirring the soup, and is even contemplating the merit of throwing together some quick drop biscuits to go with it, when a sudden clamor arises from the other room.

"NO!" She hears Eddie bark out in a raw and ravaged tone that is more afflicted with symbiote than congestion. Anne's spoon hits the counter with a clatter, and she starts for the bedroom just as Eddie bolts out of it, looking wild-eyed and energized. To her relief, Dan is just a few steps behind him, and looks unharmed. 

Eddie immediately whirls to keep him in his sights, backing away with his hands out at his sides, curled into claw shapes without actually being claws. Yet.

"What happened?"

"Nothing!" Dan assures, and has his own hands palm-out in a soothing peace gesture that seems to do nothing for Eddie's darting gaze and rapid breathing. Sweat darkens his clothes, and his hollow-eyed gaze is a sifting, swirling interplay of two different presences. Neither seems to be in full control at the moment, or to even know what's going on.

"I just felt his forehead and he spooked, but he's broiling."

"Is that...what does that mean?" Anne's voice rises with her mounting sense of panic. She starts for Eddie, but freezes when he flinches away dramatically, nearly toppling over the coffee table, and throws her a hissing look of zero recognition. That stings a little more than she wants to admit.

In lieu of answering her, Dan appeals to him with a softer voice, making his steps forward seem so tiny as if to be imperceptible. "Hey, hey. Eddie. It's us, okay? Anne and Dan, do you know where you are?"

"Where's..." Eddie starts to slur as he casts frantically around. Someone's home, but the lights are out and he's clearly scrambling in the dark. "Where'smy... apartment?" 

"I think you're getting confused, bud," Dan soothes. Anne recalls that fevers spiking high enough can lead to disorientation, even hallucinations, and can't even imagine what Eddie's seeing right now. What kind of sense both he and the symbiote are trying to make of the situation. "You're at our place, remember? We're taking care of you, because you're sick."

Like, really sick, Anne cringes. He was a little loopy and drippy and confused this afternoon, but now a thin gleam of congestion threads out from one nostril, unacknowledged, and Eddie looks like he's strongly considering jumping out the nearest window. Actually, wait...

"Do... we should really get him to a hospital, right?" She asks, just as Dan finally inches close enough to touch a gentle hand to Eddie's elbow. He whips his head aside at her comment, then snaps back at the physical contact, and suddenly it's all too much.

"No! No hospitals, do not touch us!" Venom hisses through his Eddie guise, though teeth are lengthening, eyes are rolling back into cataract while, and Anne has a real moment of fear where she anticipates him lashing out at one or both of them.  Moreover, she's not sure if they'll survive a reflexive strike from a Venom who is too brain-cooked to pull his punches.

Instead, they both get a hissing mouthful of teeth as black tendrils of goop begin to string out from Eddie's arms and fingertips. Then he turns, bolts over an armchair that gets toppled and torn-up in the process, and all Anne can get out is a horrified, "Eddiewait!!" before Venom, fully assimilated, goes crashing bodily out her fourth-story window. 

The pair of them stand stunned, for just a handful of seconds, in the tinkling glass and shattered wood of their houseguest's impromptu exit. Dan snaps out of it and makes it to the new hole in her living room first, and Anne just a beat behind. They lean out simultaneously, just in time to see her downstairs neighbors' lights come on. That, and to watch a sleek, dark, and monstrous shape sprint down the sidewalk, up the side of a residental building, and over the rooftops in a flurry of erratic mania. 

"... well, shit," Anne sighs. "Now what?"

Dan looks a little lost, like he too is still having trouble believing that the night has gone from homemade soup and sick company to chasing a feverish alien monster around downtown San Francisco. Because that's definitely what they're going to end up doing. 

"I... think now we go get a car." 

Edited by Garblin
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Oh dear! This can't be good! But it's brilliant! So vivid!

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Oh my god I love this! I never really considered a sick symbiote but I gotta tell ya, I'm really digging it! I can't help but wonder where he's going though? 😮 

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HOLY SHIT I’m so fucking invested I need to know where this goes!!  I actually didn’t expect Venom to be affected to, but this series has really made a monster fucker out of me because I’M SO INTO IT.  You’re writing is wonderful and I can’t wait for the next part ❤️

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Thank you again for the sweet compliments! Here's the last part of this particular little brain demon, but I'll most likely throw up some kind of epilogue or side bit in the near future. Will it be porn, will it be fluff? Who knows!




How exactly anyone can lose an enormous extraterrestrial monster is beyond Anne's imagination, even in a city the size of San Francisco. Ever since that fucking Life Foundation project scorched its way back through the atmosphere, however, she's found herself cultivating all kinds of new and interesting life skills.

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, tracking down Venom isn't so easy as following a wild trail of destruction -- bread crumbs of claw marks in parked cars or beheaded cops leading them to the source. Anne knows, because she's been obsessively checking the local news sources on her phone, keeping an eye out for any unusual, breaking reports. To be fair, wading through the trickle-down from the events of a couple weeks ago takes some doing. They'll all be talking about that for months, just like New York and its own, admittedly more flamboyant invasion force from a few years back. 

... in light of the whole goddamned planet's rapidly changing culture regarding mutants and aliens and advanced robotics, maybe running down her fever-dreaming apex predator of an ex-boyfriend isn't such a fever dream of her own. Times have rarely been stranger.

Sadly, all of the feeds tonight are as close to hum drum as San Francisco really gets. Like any sick or injured animal, Venom seems more inclined to run and hide, even from the people attempting to help them. There are no reports of anyone overturning tchotchke carts down at Fisherman's Wharf while roaring at strangers, nor of fucking up The Tenderloin. That's... good, right? But it leaves the hot pursuit at a bit of a loss.

"We should get him microchipped," Anne finds herself muttering, en route to the first and most likely spot for Venom to retreat: Eddie's own apartment.

"What, like a dog?"

"Too much?" Anne's sidelong gaze is wry, to hide her worry. "Ankle bracelet, then."

Dan bites back a smile, but he's putting up a front to conceal some buzzing emotions and nervous thoughts of his own, she can tell. 

"I'd say tracking the GPS on his phone, maybe, but even then..."

Yeah. Because in between scrolling through news feeds and Dan's clumsy reassurances, Anne's been blowing up Eddie's number with texts and calls that continuously go through to voice mail. She isn't sure if he genuinely can't hear or sense the alerts while the symbiote is enveloping him, becoming him, or if he's just too wigged out to care.

Ironically enough, she had earlier that day had an intense debate with herself over how much of a battle it would be to get a spoonful of cough medicine down his throat. Eddie might have groaned but complied, but Venom might have bitten her whole fucking hand off. Tough call. Now she's grateful, because nevermind having this overgrown toddler with built-in assault weapons having an adverse reaction to DXM on top of everything else. 

"... do you think he's smart enough to lay low and stay quiet somewhere safe, at least?" Anne trawls for some comfort. Ideally, maybe, even somewhere warm and dry? 

"I think Eddie is, and Venom's not stupid either, but right now they're pretty..." His hands tighten silently on the wheel, vetoing his comment as if to avoid worrying her further. It's a sweet sentiment, if also a kind of dumb one, because Anne is already at Maximum Stress.

"Well, look. This is a whole new... species, for lack of a better term?" Dan guesses at last, brows peaking together to create small ripples in his forehead. "I know what normal parameters are for the human body, but he's something else now. Hopefully that's a good thing in this situation."

It's the best she has to hold on to for tonight, because Eddie's apartment turns up as empty and trashed as it was two days ago. The rest of his usual haunts are much of the same. Anne goes through a list of every shitty bar, hipster cafe, and familiar bodega that she can think of Eddie favoring. Unfortunately, most of the ones she remembers are from their life together, and it's a slightly sobering reality to recall that he's carved out at least some sort of niche all his own in the six months since. Maybe it's shitty, too, lonely and depressed and alcoholic, but it's not an aspect of Eddie's life that she knows. It's a weird feeling, for the man she'd been planning on marrying just last year. 


She doesn't know how many times Dan has prompted her attention this time, but it's the wee hours of the morning when she snaps out of another of the trance-like quiets she's been lapsing more frequently into. She doesn't even bother checking her phone -- there won't be anything new. 


"Are you okay?"

She bites her lip, but forces a smile through it. "Yes and no? I'm... worried, but I guess still just processing it all. I thought it was a lot to take in a couple of weeks ago, but parts of it are still hitting me." 

Dan nods slowly. Routine had been an important part of it for them and, she thinks, for Eddie. She and Dan had gone right back to work, had talked about it all very sparingly, in fact, as if to preserve their own microcosms of sanity. Host and parasite had, presumably, found their own kind of stride. And then Eddie had gotten sick and she'd been a big fucking sucker and now...

"I know, it's still a lot. I think we might be running out of options for tonight, though, outside of enlisting  some other help. I'm not sure that's a much safer idea than hoping he's just holed up in an alley somewhere." 

Anne nods glumly. You didn't file a Missing Person's report for the government scientist's wet dream that just went hurtling through your living room wall six hours ago. She's not quite above wandering around the local parks and calling his name like she's honing in on a lost dog, but Dan's right. They both have work in the morning, and if Venom and Eddie can survive the likes of Drake and Riot...

Some part of her is still hoping that they'll find Venom curled up on their living room floor when they get home, snoozing away as if there was never a problem. All they're greeted with, instead, is Mister Belvedere miaowing furiously from the bathroom she'd shut him in. She sighs and goes to liberate her cat, while Dan finds some sheet plastic to staple gun temporarily over the newly remodeled windowframe. That isn't even remotely a concern she's prepared to spend brain cells on tonight.




The morning doesn't make things much better. There's a tense, mutual quiet between them as they ready for the day, Anne pretending that she's not checking her phone every few minutes. Just in case.

It's probably a good thing for her overall sanity that she's a few minutes late getting out the door, that morning. Dan has just left, and she's genuinely not sure how she's supposed to conduct herself today in any kind of professional manner. Is just the kind of random, wacky hijink she can in the future expect of Venom? Is this something more dire, in which her ex-boyfriend might have fallen into the wrong hands in his altered state? Done something horrible himself? Is he dying in a gutter somewhere from a case of symbiote-augmented Man Flu?

Anyway, if she had left any earlier she might have, like Dan, just missed the completely waterlogged, miserable heap of a homeless man staring up at her apartment from across the street.

Anne almost doesn't look twice. She's not ready for that brand of weirdness right now, but then she does a nearly Warner Bros. quality double-take. Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck!


She ignores early morning commute traffic and clears the street in just her heels and and riding a wave of raw, flooding relief.

Eddie doesn't resist, when she throws her arms around his sopping wet hoodie, but he doesn't hug back either. He seems a little stunned, or lost, or something, but after sagging his head wearily towards her, the first thing he creaks out is a miserable little rasp of apology.

"I'm... really sorry about your window."

She lets go of him, just now aware that clinging to his soaked-through self has transferred some of the frigid and frankly rank-smelling water onto her razor-pressed skirt suit. Oh god, is it sewer water? Please don't let Venom have been curled up in a sewer drain all night.


"The..." Eddie sniffles miserably, and nods up to the plastic tacked over the window. She'd been planning on calling her landlord from the office this morning, when she had more fucks to give about the situation. "I'm assuming that I... that we did that," he grimaced, correcting himself.

She couldn't see or here much of Venom in Eddie now, small and wet and shivering but, mercifully, looking a little more cognizant than he has the past couple of days. His eyes are glossy and sorry, but clear of both fevered mania and the slinking haze of white that signifies the symbiote's control.

"The... jesus, Eddie. I don't care about the window. I'm... are you okay? Is Venom okay? Fuck, I..." It's starting to catch up to her now in a rush and she paces a little circle right there on the sidewalk, finding her breath and trying not to have a meltdown here in public. "Dan and I were up most of the night looking for you, why are you wet?"

Eddie looks down at himself slowly, still wracked with tremors but just now seeming to remember his own dishevelled state. He sniffs again, fast and damp like he's trying to keep a constant trickle of congestion at bay, but it just ends up making him cough in between words.

"I... khff. Hkmm. I woke up in a duck pond? Down by... down by the park." He sniffs, and starts to fumble in his pockets, as if he, by any stretch of the imagination, might have a dry tissue stored away in there. No. "... also I've been coughing up  these little white feathers all morning? So I either ate the resident swan which... good riddance, he was a mean fucker. Or... oh, thanks," he croaks, when Anne sighs, cuts off his futile search, and digs out a little travel pack of tissues from her purse. He fumbles with them for a second, clammy and pale fingertips scrabbling at the packet while he continues. "Or I ransacked a Bed Bath and Beyo-- hh... hh!"

It would be his luck to sneeze out a lung and noseful of pondwater and duckweed just before he's got the tissue in place. For once, however, either fate or Venom comes through for Eddie, because he hunches right into the crumple of paper as it tears out of him.


He stays bent for a moment, nearly swaying, so Anne isn't done worrying about him yet. After a bit, though, he straightens and turns from her, just a bit, to blow his nose with a fluid, soaking sound. Yeah, definitely a bit of pond water in there.

"... s'cuse be," he manages afterwards, throat raked over into a coarse, sandpaper grit. He sniffs, sniffs again, and wipes at his eyes with the back of his wrist.

"Anyway, I just uh. Wanted t'say sorry for the damage, and for keepin' you up all night. I'll pay for it, all of it."

Anne waves him off. She already has her phone out and is thumbing out an alert to her significant other. "Would you shut up about the window? Just... here, go on inside. Dan's got some clothes you can borrow -- take a shower and put on something dry. He's got a couple surgeries this morning but he'll be out sooner than I am, I'll just have him drop by so..."

"Annie," Eddie sighs, exhaustion writ thoroughly through his slouch, his grey cheeks and red eyes and flush nose. "I'm goin' back to my place. Like I said, just wanted to let you know I was okay, and t'say sorry, and..."

"What?" She stands up straight and stares a hole in him. Thank god it's so early and there aren't many people up yet to see them having this honest to god... couple spat in the middle of the sidewalk. "Eddie, no. You're sick. You need to rest."

He looks like he'd be content to melt right into the gutter, slop into it like he and the symbiote are both boneless lumps of goo, but he manages to keep upright. Upright and stubborn, so at least she knows he doesn't need to be fucking hospitalized. She may have held the reins for the bulk of their relationship, but when Eddie Brock goes down without some kind of a fight, then she'll be truly panicked.

"I don't need babysitting. Anyway, I've done enough damage," he sighs, uprolls his eyes as if he is angry and exasperated with himself for even having to say it, "We have. Not just to the window, I mean. It--... no, shh, buddy, go back to sleep," he sighs, in a so-sudden change of tone that it takes Anne a second to realize that he's talking to his symbiote, and not just suffering a momentary loss of sanity. She takes that as a good sign that Venom is still housed... safely? Inside Eddie's bones and blood and tissue. "I'm not mad."

He sniffs, then draws another Kleenex free and gives her the hang-on-a-second forefinger. He tilts away again, trying to clear out more of the slow trickle from his sinuses before, presumably, it makes him sneeze again.

"Uh...!" His shoulders arc for a second, before shuddering violently into the followthrough. "...uchkt'SCHOO!"

... yeah. It's a pretty futile effort.

Despite it, Eddie recovers before she does and meets her with a dogged, if watery sort of stare. "I'll going home. I'll be fine."

Anne throws up her hands in agitation. "It's not babysitting, Eddie, jesus, I know you're a grown man even if you don't act like it half the time. We just want to take care of you."

"Why," Eddie growls out, with another frustrated swipe at his nose. If Venom wasn't so presumably exhausted, she has a feeling she'd see claws that came with it, ready to claw the whole tickly, raw, bothersome thing right off his face. 

"Because I love you, idiot!" Anne groans, at the peak of her frustration with the entire world, Eddie Brock, and herself.

At least it shuts him up for a second, eyeing her warily with the whites of his eyes standing out so bright and shiny that they look like boiled eggs. "... you do, huh?" He croaks finally, cautiously feeling out for any desire of hers to retract or reframe that statement.

Anne doesn't, though. She sags her shoulders, looks at him, and sighs in a rare form of defeat. "... I think so, yes. It's not like it was before? Not exactly. But it's not..." She closes her eyes. "Look, I can't -- I have to be at work, Eddie, I've already got to run back in and change. If you want to go lick your wounds in your own bed, fine. I get it, I do. I just want you to know that you're not alone, that..."

Eddie continues to look at her carefully, just holding the tissue under his nose now. It should look ridiculous, but he still has that guarded appearance, like a dog still afraid it's going to get a boot instead of a friendly pat. Which, she knows he hasn't been exactly conscious or coherent for the last few days, but come on... homemade soup should at least put some sort of dent in the six month grey rock she's tried to maintain.

"What... about Dan?"

Oh, right. Eddie might be a sharp journalist, but he's goddamned oblivious sometimes even without a high fever pan searing his brain in his own head. To be fair, that came out of left field for her a bit, too. She shakes her head slowly. "Dan's not going anywhere, but you don't have to either. That's maybe a discussion we all need to have."

One she's not even remotely ready for right this second, but she and Eddie dated for a good long while. Of course they'd talked now and then about potentially incorporating a third party into their bedroom, even if they never actually got around to it. Still, again, so far distant a conversation, and not one held on a city sidewalk with one part in the equation still covered in pond water and bird shit. 
Eddie blinks slowly through the first fuzzy stages of recognition, then ducks his head finally and gives another soft sniff. "I'm... I am gonna go take a shower and nap at my place. Maybe... call me when you get out of work, though? Like, I dunno. Check up on me or..."

They were both of them notoriously bad at compromising when they were together, so Anne takes this olive branch with a breath of relief, and nods slowly. "Sure, yeah. I can do that. Th..." She closes her eyes, vetoes, and finally settles for opening them with a plainer, softer kind of look. "Feel better, Eddie, okay?" 

"Thanks." He nods slowly, starts to turn away, then changes his mind for a second. "Oh, but... Annie."

She, too, pauses for a hopeful second. Eddie, however, only offers a weak smile and taps a knuckle to the center of his chest. "Don't worry about me bein' alone, okay? Me an' buddy here are a package deal."

It's as much a reminder or a comfort as it is a warning, she thinks, but after a moment of surprised silence, Anne settles for a brisk nod. No Eddie without the alien slime too, got it.

She's got the rest of the day to contemplate all the potential mechanics of that.




She's a bit late to work, but makes up for it by compartmentalizing the whole, weird turn of her life not just in the past few weeks but in the past few days. Instead, Anne is nose to the grindstone, and only lets up on herself to spend her entire lunch break on the phone with Dan. It's a long talk, but one she feels pretty good about by the time they hang up, heart a little lighter. They'll get through this, all of them, in one direction or another.

She doesn't call Eddie on the ride home, is waiting until she's got a cat in her lap and a glass of wine in her hand maybe. It all ends up being for naught, when she finally drags her tired heels up the flight of stairs, rattles open the door to her own apartment, and is abruptly reminded why Dan is such a fucking wonderful, magnificent man. A real keeper.

He's already seated on the couch, kicked back and settled a comfortably polite, yet familiar distance from her other apartment denizen, felines not included. Eddie catches her the same, slightly guilty, slightly hopeful look that Dan does.

He, mercifully, looks like he's showered and maybe even shaved a bit, changed into something warm and dry, although someone (Dan) has gone the extra mile to drape his shoulders in her nana's big, thick afghan. Someone else (still Dan) has ensured that he's got a mug of something softly steaming in his lap, and a fresh box of tissues, and the tableau of it all hits the weird, domestic or maybe even maternal part of her so hard that she lets out an audible sigh of relief.

"I... hope this is okay?" Dan appeals nonetheless, as he sits up and forward. She's never particularly noticed before, but they're such very different-looking men in ways beyond their personalities. Dan is Hollywood handsome, classic and tall and long-limbed. He's the greyhound to Eddie's shivery, blanket-swaddled pit bull. She never really clocked his lack of inches compared to some men, he's always been built and with a personality larger than himself. Sick and stuffed-up and snuggled on her couch, however, is another story.

Anne kicks off her shoes, then crosses swiftly into the bedroom to set down her things, loosen her collar. That sort of thing. Just until her heart stops hurting.

Just so they don't get the wrong idea before she's recomposed herself, however, she sails a soft, "Oh, don't even think of going anywhere, boys," over her shoulder to placehold their positions. She wants in on this.

She hears Eddie sneeze desperately, miserably from the living room while she's unrolling her nylons, unhooking her bra. It's a wet "--TSSCHOOH!" just a little less horrible than the ones that morning. It is, however, followed by a sharp gasp and a nearly identical repeat, then a third. She'll take the sneezing over the fever, however, and definitely doesn't mind Dan's soft but emphatic "bless you!" in the aftermath.

Eddie's resulting murmur is lost somewhere in the distance she's placed between them. It's a problem she solves as soon as she's thrown on yoga pants and an old, too-large tee. They're shitty, comfy lounging clothes, but she doesn't miss the way both men's eyes clock her when she re-emerges back into the living room. It's like a reverse superhero transformation. Competent, cut throat attorney intooo...! Lazy house girlfriend.

Eddie is still working a tissue at his nose, but a little more gingerly than he had many hours ago. He uprolls her a gently imploring, baby beagle kind of look and says nothing.

In response, Anne puts her hands on her hips. "So. I see Dan used the big, mean doctor voice on you?"

Eddie hides the faint twitch of a smile with the duck of his head and scrub of the tissues. "Little bit, yeah. Plus some healthily induced guilt about not trying your soup? And I think Mister Belvedere was starting to warm up to Venom, so..." He crumples the tissue, and makes a vague gesture with it balled in one fist. A you know the rest kind of sleight of hand. 

Then he takes a breath, crumples his features, and sneezes a clearly unexpected spasm down into the huddle of his lap and arms. "--hh'TDSCCHH'ooh!" 

"Sorry," he mutters softly, self-consciously as he cleans himself up under the huddle of the afghan and his big shoulders. Anne pretends not to notice the couple of inky tendrils that slither back up under it as well, from where they'd briefly erupted. "Sneezing's getting worse." 

Dan has a hand on his back, rubbing through an immediate, tactile response of reassurance. He's always been a touchy feely kind of guy, one of those surgeons who's never lost his compassion for the patient as a person. "God bless you. Like I said, I'll be a little surprised if you don't end up with a sinus infection, after that dunk in the pond."

Ah, good. She gave Dan a basic rundown of their conversation that morning, that and more, but Eddie might have volunteered a little of his own recount, too. More importantly, she's a little comforted to see that Dan is respectful and affectionate with Eddie, but no moreso than he would be with any patient, or friend.

The lines of that might begin to blur, further on down the road, but right now Anne is just reassured that they haven't started anything without her. 

"Can't wait," Eddie mutters, and goes for another tissue to wipe at his eyes and then dab, a little more carefully, at the absolutely ruined, perfect soft triangle of his nose. 

She sinks down into the slim space on Eddie's other side, forcing him to scoot a bit so that they all end up in just a little bit closer proximity to one another. "How're you feeling, really?" She prompts, with a neat steal of her hand to his brow. Still a bit too warm, but less sweaty, and not scalding the backs of her knuckles. 

"... honestly?" Eddie admits, after a beat to roughly clear his throat. "Like shit. I'm fuckin'... aching all over, can't fuckin' breathe, and that'd all be... whatever, but Venom's never experienced this before. I think he sort of..." He nods briefly to the elephant in the room, the shattered windowframe. Thank god Eddie decided to get a summer cold, and not a winter one. "Freaked out."

Eddie's attention shifts minutely after he says this, unfocusing in a way that's becoming increasingly clear that he's having a private sort of conversation with the goop from beyond the stars that now lives in his brain.

Sure. She dated weirder guys in high school, so?

After sharing a looking with Dan behind his ducked shape, she cautious and Dan mostly curious, she gives Eddie's bicep a tentative rub. 

"... learning curve, you said. Right? I think we all might have one in store." 

Eddie nods blankly, slivers his eyes closed, and inhales. He's close enough now that his shoulders brush both her and Dan before he crumples over his own lap.


"Bless y---," Dan started, then flinches when Eddie spasms again.



"Hahg'od," Eddie finally manages as he surfaces with a gasp, shivery and teary eyed but still, apparently, wanting to spare Dan his breath. This fucking guy. He grimaces hard, and throws himself forward.


Both of the humans not presently harboring alien symbiotes slowly watched the long, black claws retract, the pliant tendrils withdraw from where they'd shot out to fasten at the coffee table, the remote, the tissue box. Dan's knee. Eddie sniffles liquidly, and manages to make the sound seem very, very apologetic.

"... sorry," he tacks on at the end, anyway. Just in case.

Dan looks actually, physically pained in the aftermath, so Anne ducks in to do a little emotional triage.

"Jesus, Eddie, gesundheit. I promise you neither of us or grossed out by your mutant germs, and I wouldn't have mentioned a fucking thre--foursome if any of us minded you have E.T. in your head."

Nailed it.

It does work, though. Eddie sputters a surprised laugh that turns into a fitful, teary cough and then back into a laugh again. He explains only in sniffling recovery that the symbiote is currently smashing around in his skull with no idea of whether to take that E.T. remark as a compliment or an insult. 

He finally blows his nose and sniffs and wipes his eyes through to a more stable base state, sighs, and catches both Anne and, after a beat, Dan a hesitant glance.

"I don't get the desire, I gotta admit. The timing..." He flinches, seemingly out of nowhere, and Anne infers that Venom is barking at his host within his own head. 

"Listen to your friend," Anne says, and can almost hear Venom's smugness in Eddie's guilty glance.

Dan finally reaches out to brush the back of one of Eddie's hands in a more intimate gesture, however tame in the bigger picture. "Is it a bad time to admit that I had a weird sort of crush on you after the requisite ex Facebook stalking?"

Eddie blurts another surprised laugh, and Anne does too because whoa, when and what? No matter, she has a counter.

"Listen, Eddie," she starts, solemn. "The heart wants what the heart wants. Mine misses your pretty mouth, Dan's is maybe into tentacles."

Eddie snorts again, so flustered that he has to mend his situation with a situation. Dan does, too, but his blush lingers long enough that she begins to suspect there might be something to that, anyway.

"Christ," Eddie chokes, coughs a few times until they're both rubbing his back in concentric circles, until he recovers himself. "Okay, okay. I just. I'm willing, you know? I..." He pauses for a second, expression fuzzy enough to suggest that he's fighting the prickle of another unwelcome sneeze. He shakes it off, however, and chucks a thumb under his nose. Sniffs. 

"There's a lot of stuff to hash out, if we..."

There is a lot. Anne's never been in a relationship with more than one person before, she's not sure if Dan or Eddie or Venom have either. Especially Venom. She just this week learned that Dan was a sheepishly closeted bisexual, even if Eddie's been out for years. But in all of the ways that this can be complicated and messy and awful and weird, it can also be none of those things.

"We can talk," she says, and leans in to peck a kiss to Eddie's temple. "Now or later. But if you want to skip right to the part where we both cuddle the shit out of you and watch bad Netflix, I think that'd be okay?" She glances at Dan for his confirmation. He nods hesitantly, still with his hand on Eddie's.  After a beat, he's brave enough to lean down to press his own kiss through Eddie's blanketed shoulder. 

Eddie, who doesn't look like he knows quite like he knows what to do with himself but is nodding hastily, sniffling, and settling back. "Yeah, that..." Anne jumps just a little to feel the soft, warm slither of one of the symbiote's tendrils snaking around her arm. Dan stretches his fingertips with a more quiet awe of the dark spiderweb spreading between them. 

Ringing endorsement from the alien lifeform, then. Good, that's one hurdle cleared.

"That'd be nice," Eddie sighs, though it turns into a low, rumbling growl at the end as he sinks back between them both. 

Yeah. They'll figure it out.

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hhhHHOOOO BOI that was fantastic!!  Who needs a shipping war when everybody can fuck everybody?  I love this so much actually and I'm totally down for this weird four way because now there's no need for anyone to be left out lol

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Absolutely loved this! Finally got around to watching Venom and had to re-read this with a fresh sense of adoration for these characters! :D 

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Oh, you’re so funny! I love the tone of this. The lazy house girlfriend, the “nailed it.” Good. 

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This is incredibly sexy I am SO into this pairing (quadruple-ing?)!! Poly works so much better and I love that it's hilarious and awkward yet somehow so graceful and honest and sweet :heart: This is lovely and I'm about to go read this 10 more times thank you

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On 10/24/2018 at 8:54 PM, Garblin said:

"Listen, Eddie," she starts, solemn. "The heart wants what the heart wants. Mine misses your pretty mouth, Dan's is maybe into tentacles."

Okay I'm back to quote this because, after multiple re-readings of this beautiful creation, this line is still making me literally lol.

And also because you (and Anne) are right, he truly has such a pretty mouth 😍

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I literally don’t even know what to say! This was so amazingly good I can’t get enough of it! Do you think that you could write another story about Eddie Brock/Venom? This was so incredible and I just need more! 😍

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I saw this movie and was like Yassss i love venom. And then u wrote this im thinking:

Perfect person to write monsters who are just yaaaas. 


So thank u. 💜💜💜

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YES HELLO I saw this movie today purely so I could read this fic. As always, you never disappoint. I flailed at you over on Discord already about specifics, but I'll gladly state them again: Amazing characterization/dialogue and overall phenomenal writing. *pappap


On 10/22/2018 at 7:30 AM, Garblin said:

His voice breaks in about twelve different places, cracked with inflammation and anxiety and all of the other messy, ugly parts about Eddie that she wanted to pack up in a cardboard box, tape over, and neatly label Past Mistakes.

Yeah, mmhmm, this is probably one of the best things I've ever read from you. My heart Wasn't Ready. 

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On 10/24/2018 at 10:54 PM, Garblin said:

Dan has a hand on his back, rubbing through an immediate, tactile response of reassurance

Ok. Thanks. Now I can shipp them bdbdbdbd gir, the things you do x'D

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The only cuestión I have is: Didn't Venom was suposed to heal damage and illnesses? I would liked there to be some consistente explanation of Why is Venom sick Too and don't heal them, buuut, I think you convinced me to like a LOT this story for the final mix of all them 😂😂😂 claps haha

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8 hours ago, valemari2012 said:

The only question I have is: Didn't Venom was suposed to heal damage and illnesses? I would liked there to be some consistent explanation of Why is Venom sick Too and don't heal them, buuut, I think you convinced me to like a LOT this story for the final mix of all them 😂😂😂 claps haha


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