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Remembrance (Venom, Eddie Brock)


Owlinatree

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So, I saw venom. Here we go!

They have a job, now. Or rather, Eddie has a job. (And it is usually not a we thing, okay?) Eddie has a job, one which finds lots of bad people for Venom to eat, Anne and Dan help keep Eddie happy, and the walls of his shitty apartment have been fixed, so everything is more or less stable. Venom enjoys this, their heart beating strongly on its own, the healthy tint of their skin, how Eddie is very slightly less sweaty all the time (it’s our sweat now, V, not just mine). 

They have just arrived back at their apartment, and Venom is pretty sure the evening is not going to be “we” time of any sort. Eddie has Venom open the door for him, his hands occupied with a cardboard box that looks like it hadn’t been touched in years. They had stopped by a building on their way home, where a man handed Eddie the box, far more suspicious of Eddie than seemed necessary for something so boring. 

What are those? 

“I got a friend to call a favor with another friend and get me some tax records from a while ago. Could be some dirt on that diamond company I’m profiling in the new article. 

And tax records are . . . worth that much work? Why not use the favor to get something better, like chocolate, or a chicken?

“Okay first, I told you, that chicken was a one time thing. You gotta let that go, buddy. Second, tax records are harder to get than those. The man who gave me these could get in a lot of legal trouble if he’s caught.” 

We are breaking a law, Eddie?

“Kinda. He could get sued or something. I’ll ask Annie. I think it’s . . . probably more legal than our dinner, most nights. Anyway, that’s why I had to ask through a friend. Not too many people trust me with confidential information anymore.”

Didn’t know you had friends, Eddie. Venom curls around Eddie’s shoulders, a warm weight to contrast his words.

“You’re hilarious.” Venom thrills at this, sarcasm or no. 

Eddie pulls a stack of files out of the box and drops them down onto their table. Venom watches with interest as a cloud of dust billows out, though Eddie doesn’t seem to notice. They sit at the table, and Eddie gets to work sorting manila folders into various piles. There’s something off, though. Venom can feel a tightness in their eyes, like there isn’t enough water in their body. Maybe Eddie was too sweaty earlier, and used it up. But then, they feel a fluttering tickle, just for a second, before— 

“Huh-tschooh! Ih’schoo!” Eddie crumples down toward the table, Venom throwing out a frantic tendril to stop him from smacking their forehead on the wood.

Eddie! Sneezed!

“Yeah, bud. It happens.” This is an unsatisfactory response. Venom isn’t sure if all hosts are so unconcerned with their own wellbeing, but he also doesn’t care. Eddie is special, and should be cared about accordingly. 

Why?

“Dunno. Snff. Prob’ly getting a cold or something.”

No. They’d had a cold, not too long after the LIFE Foundation, and it was nothing like this; he hadn’t known what it was then, but Venom had detected a creeping weakness in their body days in advance, not at all like this feathery tickle cropping up with a moment’s notice. 

Not caring about this as much as you should, Eddie! We are not sick.

“Yeah, okay, it’s the dust, then.” Venom squints at Eddie, who is now ignoring him, and then melts into their head, sliding through Eddie’s brain to find what he needs. 

____________________________________

There. Venom sinks into a memory, Eddie warm in Anne’s arms.

“You starting the episode on Tesla tomorrow? Anne’s voice had been fond, clear against the dim light of the bedroom. She and Eddie were lying in bed together, Eddie tucked into her embrace. Eddie had felt then something like what they feel now, that same niggling tickle.

“Yeah, I’m uhhh—” Eddie rolled out of Anne’s arms just in time to muffle a pair of sneezes into the duvet. He scrubbed at his nose, quick and embarrassed.

“Sorry.” Anne pulled him back over for a kiss, cupping his face gently in her hands.

“Bless you.” Anne ran her thumb over his cheekbone. “It must be getting dusty in here, huh?”

“Guess so.” Eddie sniffed a few times against the sensation he could feel building again. Anne reached over him and returned with a tissue, which he used to cover the next sneezes that tumbled out. 

“Thanks, Annie,” he said when he was done, congestion coloring his consonants. “Yeah, we’re filming the first section tomorrow . . . 

____________________________________

Venom slips out of the memory, twining himself around the comforting folds of Eddie’s cerebrum. Eddie, meanwhile, is still pushing dusty folders around and doing Eddie things—muttering under his breath, fiddling with his shirt collar—not yet aware that Venom’s hanging out in his mind. 

Venom thinks he understands what’s happening, mostly, but not enough. He tiptoes back down and through Eddie’s hippocampus, going back further in time to stand in front of the supply closet in the early days of Eddie’s reporting at the Daily Globe.

____________________________________

Then it’s the squeal of poorly oiled hinges, stale air meeting his face like a bucket of water. 

Venom feels, as Eddie had felt, an instantaneous reaction upon opening the door; his eyes were dry, prickling around the edges, his throat was gritty all of a sudden, chest clenching with irritated coughs, and most urgent, there was a deep tickle laid between his cheekbones. Eddie took a step into the closet, and gasped sharply when the feeling surged, forgoing the targeted cartridge of printer ink in favor of bracing himself on a dusty shelf. He sneezed harshly toward the polished concrete floor, matte with more dust, unable in that moment to just grab what he needed and get out. 

Finally he staggered out to his desk, slammed down the ink cartridge, and sat heavily in his shitty plastic chair. 

“Who made Brock go in the supply closet?” Eddie vaguely heard one of his coworkers behind him, distracted by the angry itch of his eyes as he pushed into them with the heels of his hands. Venom wants to reach back through time and stop his dusty hands from grinding in more of that evil substance. He can only watch, though.

“April, I . . . hih-hh!” Eddie rubbed at his nose with his wrist. “I got the ink.”

“Ah, shit. Kid’s gonna be useless for the rest of the day,” said a voice that Eddie’s brain helpfully identifies as Joe, Eddie’s editor at the paper.

“How was I supposed to know? He didn’t say anything,” April responded, sounding put-out.

“I’mb right he-eihh here,” Eddie protested, “huh-ikSSCH! eh’tSHoo!” 

“I swear, I have no idea how he got through his internship.” Venom feels the wave of indignance that had risen in Eddie at this.

“He does good work, just not like this.”

“I’ll be . . . tschoOOH! snf! I’ll be fide. I cad work. Jus’ deed a sec.” Eddie sent his approximation of a reassuring nod toward his boss.

“Jeez, your eyes!” Venom can’t see their eyes, limited by the memory, but Eddie could feel them acutely, puffy and itching like hell. “Go wash yourself off, Brock. You got anything to take for this?” 

Eddie started a gravelly “Uhh,” and the next instant Venom finds himself jolted out of the memory. 

____________________________________

“What the hell are you doing up there?”

Context clues.

“Get outta my head, man.” Eddie shakes back and forth a few times. “I’m tryin’ to work.” 

We are irritated.

“Yeah, I am.”

Eddie! Not like that. Itchy. And they are, all around; his eyes are still dry, hypersensitive to the movement of air. There’s that deep crawling sensation through his nose all the way back to his ears. Eddie clears his throat a few times and rubs his hoodie sleeve over his nose.

“Like I said, you’re welcome to find a new body to inhabit.”

We would never! 

“Uh-huh.”

You're ours, Eddie. Not fair.

“Yeah, I know, I know! ‘S a joke.”

Your jokes are not funny. Apologize!

“A’right! I’m—oh, hang on.” Eddie didn’t need to say hang on, because Venom can feel it too, can feel the expansion of their lungs and the flare of sensation in their nose. He places a tendril down on the table just in case Eddie tries to smack his head again. “Huh-itCHOOH! Ugh.”  

Bless you. Venom doesn’t quite understand the function of sneezing; if anything, the itch creeps back stronger after each expulsion. He appreciates that momentary respite, though, just after each one, when it goes away for a moment.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Why does this happen whenever there is dust? Venom didn’t get to experience many of those memories, but there was a sense he got of hundreds more just the same as those he saw, a branching stream of dusty memories. He pulls the two most prominent to the front of their mind, plastering over whatever other thoughts they have.

“You’re not gonna let me finish working, huh?”

No.

“Right, so. It’s called an allergic reaction. Means my body thinks that something is dangerous, even though it isn’t. Which in this case is dust. So, to fight off the dust, I guess, my body releases histamines. They make my eyes itchy and my nose stuffy.” Eddie pauses, blinking unsteadily. He pulls his sleeve up to his face. “Hh-hih! h’TShooo!”  

And you sneeze.

“Yeah, you noticed?”

We notice everything, Eddie.

“You didn’t notice the price tag on those fish last week.”

They were delicious!

“As least it wasn’t my liver you were eating.”

We will eat your histamines!

“No! No, they’re important for my immune system to work right.”

Your immune system is not doing a good job.

“It’s still mine, V. I want to keep it.”

Our immune system. We will keep them. 

“No eating?”

. . . No. Venom pauses. What do you do to fix this, then?

“It’ll go away on its own, probably. Eventually.” Eddie sniffs a few times, congestion more noticeably present. 

Won’t. The box is still in here.

“It’s ndot that bad.” Venom thinks for a second, back to the moment right before Eddie wrested control of his memories away.

When you were...working. The boss asked you if you had anything to take for your allergies. 

“Oh! Yeah, there’s medications and things you can take. They control your body’s response to the histamines, mostly.” That sounds familiar, Venom thinks.

Like Zyrtec! Starts working hard at hour one, Eddie.

“Yeah? ‘S that fromb an ad?”

We are learning your culture through television.

“Whatever you say.”

Go get some, Eddie. We are uncomfortable.

“I’mb dot uncomfhh—! uh’TSHoo!” Venom can feel his frustration at this, echoed in the low groan he emits. “Alright, fine. But not Zyrtec. That shit knocks me out.”

____________________________________

They walk into Mrs. Chen’s bodega, muted bells announcing their arrival.

“You look even more like shit than normal.”

“That is so ki’d of you to—h’itschOO! ukt’CHOOH!” Eddie swallows heavily, letting out an involuntary, miserably congested moan. Mrs. Chen hands him a tissue, either disgust or worry on her face.

“You’re sick?” Eddie takes a second to blow their nose, rubbing at it for good measure.

“Nah, allergies. Dust.”

“Of course it’s dust! You never buy cleaning supplies.” Venom likes Mrs. Chen.

“It wasn’t even—you know what? I just came here for meds, not...whatever this is. And don’t think I don’t feel you being a little shit up there,” Eddie says, tapping their head.

She’s right though, Eddie. Mrs. Chen makes a sort of “see?” gesture. Eddie tries to rub at their eyes with his dusty hand and Venom stops him. 

“Do you have Claritin? That’s all I’m here for.” Eddie is annoyed, frustration aided by the buzzing itch. Mrs. Chen pulls some down from behind the register.

“You can have it for free. I’ll even throw in a duster.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Take care of yourself, Eddie.” Venom pops out, indignant.

We will take care of Eddie! Mrs. Chen barely blinks.

“Prove it.” 

“Shush.” Eddie pokes Venom between the eyes, then takes his things to the door. 

“‘Night, Mrs. Chen!” The bells chime behind them.
 

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Ahh! This is really cute! :heart: I loved Venom and have been looking forward to seeing some writing from others on the forum. The banter between Eddie and Venom is great :laugh: Thanks so much for sharing!

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OMG. I love this! Great to see more of your work. The banter between Eddie and Venom is great! 

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