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Disclaimer: Venom belongs to Marvel comics. This is a fanfic, made for entertainment not profit.

Venom: Blood Ties

Part I: Sister, dearest.

It began with a simple mistake. By the time Mary realized that this wasn't her stop, the bus was speeding away. They had not heard her calls. Or maybe they had but ignored it because it would have taken them such a long time, such an inconvenience to reload her with her wheelchair. She cursed slightly and realized that she could either wait there in the dark for another bus to arrive or roll down the twenty-something blocks through the graffiti-laced neighborhood to the relative safe-haven of her apartment. Either way she felt exposed, but she opted to keep moving—reasoning that it was slightly better to present a moving target than wait there like a sitting duck. As she advanced down the street she noticed shadows drawing nearer. She readied her can of mace. A stray cat leapt from the shadows. She laughed. With trembling fingers she dug into her purse for a little something to take the edge off. She was just being paranoid.

It turned out that she wasn't. A gang of five guys closed in like a pack of hyenas—laughing and howling like them too. Perhaps it was the drugs kicking in, but that was what they resembled to her.

The first insane thought to register in her mind was that she should have told her father off earlier that evening when she had the chance.Now it appeared that she would never have that chance.

Then they were upon her. Hands—reaching and grabbing. She sprayed one of them in the face with mace before it was wrenched from her fingers. She could hear him cursing and saw him clawing at his eyes in pain but had no time to react to it. She bit one of the many hands, rolled her chair over another's foot. Hit another of her attackers below the belt. More hands grabbed her and there was the metallic swishing sound of a switchblade swinging open then felt the blade enter her chest. She felt the blows from fists and knives. She felt her blood spilling, her bones breaking. She continued to struggle, though she did not know why. She had screwed so much up in her life; she was hurting so much—why even bother? The answer: because it would be selfish to die now. Jenny needed her and she couldn't leave her father to die alone.

The gangster was making ready to stab her again when a black tendril suddenly shot out from the darkness. It wrapped around the would-be murderer's throat and yanked him backwards, impacting with great force—and a sickening crunch—on the brick wall behind him.

Mary gasped as a darker hulking mass emerged from the shadows. She had only recently moved back to San Francisco, but she was already familiar with some of the newer, more gruesome of the urban legends. Now this "urban legend" was towering before her. She must have been tripping harder than she thought.

But there was no mistaking it: The white amorphous eyes, the grinning fanged face, the white spider symbol across his chest and back.

Venom.

His reputation preceded him. Two of the gangsters just froze. First they dropped their jaws, and then they dropped their weapons as they fled screaming. The two that remained shouted, threatened, swore, drew and brandished their weapons. They suddenly sounded a lot younger (and it goes without saying, more scared) to Mary, now that this creature confronted them.

Venom yawned, which was—with the two-foot long prehensile tongue and the many teeth—an unnerving sight. Then in a deep menacing voice (or was it voices?) addressed the criminals: "Isn't it past your bed time?"

"S-Stay back monster! Or we'll kill her! I'm not joking!" And to show that he wasn't joking, the gangster tipped Mary's chair over. Her head hit the cement, and she promptly blacked out.

"Wrong move, scumbag." One of the many pseudopodia writhing menacingly about his form lashed out like a cobra and coiled around the gangster with the knife and pulled him within an inch of his face. His white mask-like eyes glaring into the gangster's terrified black ones as he growled "Picking on the handicapped? Who's the monster here?" The gangster lashed at Venom with the knife. Not only did the symbiote deflect the blow from penetrating to the human flesh beneath, it wrenched the weapon from the gangster's grip and flung it down the alley. "You shouldn't play with knives either… you could get hurt." Venom's comment was dripping with sarcasm as well as green slime. He then proceeded to slap this yo-yo into the concrete with minimal effort, down for the count. He casually turned to face the other gangster. As if in response to Venom's remarks—or upon seeing how ineffective his comrade's mode of attack had been—he drew his handgun.

"Die you son of a—" BLAM!

BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

He emptied a full clip into Venom's side, chest, and head. Then it was—Click, click, click—as there was nothing left to fire. Venom hissed, winced with pain, but pain was all they caused. Truth be told, the sounds of the shots did more damage than the bullets themselves. A look of dismay flashed over the gangster's face when he saw Venom was still looming over him—and looking angrier.

Venom grinned his malicious grin. "Back atcha!" He declared as the alien half of the creature spat the bullets back at the shooter, killing him instantly. Venom dragged the other two still living gangsters into the dark. Venom chuckled evilly.

"How would you like you're brains? Scrambled or fried?"

Screams carried through the night air and just as abruptly were silenced. Followed by even more disturbing sounds of flesh ripping and chewing. Venom considered pursuing the other two who had gone running but stopped when he remembered their intended victim still lay bleeding on the ground. He had not realized she was in such a bad way or he would not have taken these kills so casually, so slowly. Though they deserved the slowest, most painful deaths possible, it took time away from his helping the innocent.

He leaned over and put his clawed fingers to her throat. He gently pushes back her dirty blonde hair and sees her face for the first time in years. He recognizes Mary Brock, his sister. There was a pulse but it was slow and faint… and getting fainter. He wasn't sure that even by webbing it that they would make it to the hospital in time or even if she could be helped by human medicine. He wasn't sure if he should move her either. If she died it would be their fault. There was only one thing they could do, though they were loath to do it. But they had to do it. They couldn't fail her like they had failed Ann.

Please. Oh, God. Please help her! He thought / spoke to his other. The black alien creature pulled out and away from Eddie. It was always painful for both of them when they separated. It slithered along and oozed over Mary attaching itself to her like it had to him. Healing her wounds, restoring her life.

Eddie felt so alone without the alien there. It was always there with him, in his head, giving him wordless companionship. It felt so wrong without all its familiar nightmares running through his brain. Without it there, he felt the full effects of his illness as his cancer spread and multiplied now that the creature that had kept it at bay by feeding on it had departed. He felt very tired, like he had been spread too thin.

Then it returned to him. Rejoining was almost as painful as separating, but there was no helping it. They needed each other, cared for each other… loved(?) each other. His other communicated to him through images / concepts / memories that Mary would be all right. That she just needed to sleep it off. That it had even been able to repair some of the damage of the older injury that had deprived her the use of her legs.

Mary.

He hadn't seen her in years. He had not seen her since driven to desperation and despair he went to the church, seeking forgiveness before he killed himself. Not since he and the alien had found each other in the church and they had been reborn. The alien had likewise been forsaken by one it had trusted and loved. Together they found common sorrows—and common hatreds—that made them one.

Now the other related to him Mary's memories. Her husband had run off with a younger women a few years ago. Mary alone had to support her daughter and their father, who had taken ill. She had not been able to get a very decent job because of the accident caused by Nova some years ago in New York in which she had lost the use of her legs. She still had an addiction to pain killers and it had gotten worse over time. She worked the late shift at Stop n' Go and did not live far from here. She had missed her stop and that had almost gotten her killed.

Eddie felt guilt for letting his father intimidate him for so long, for missing out on so much of his own life, but mostly for not being around for them.

"We are so sorry, Mary. That we were not there to protect you for so long. We will begin to make that up to you now, we promise." Mary made a motion like she was coming to. Venom carefully scooped her up, shot a webline, and propelled them through the air to her apartment.

Mary awoke unsure of her surroundings. It took her a minute to realize that she was in her own bed in her own apartment, and it was early morning. She wondered if it had all been a bad trip. Only the deplorable state of her clothes—ripped and bloody—attested to the contrary. She didn't feel a let down either. She felt great, for the first time in a long time. She climbed over to where her chair was placed considerately nearby and tried to make sense of the events of the previous night.

What she wanted was a shower, and to get her head together. But then she smelled something cooking. Her stomach groaned when she realized how hungry she was… but it also startled her. Jenny was only four. She didn't how to cook… which meant there was someone else in the apartment.

She took the gun that was locked inside her desk drawer and rolled her chair as quietly as possible towards the kitchen. She heard two voices coming from the kitchen. One was Jenny's. The other's was a rough male voice that sounded vaguely familiar. Jenny was sitting at the table doodling with crayons while the man plopped pancake batter onto the skillet. The man, aside from having mullet hair like an 80s rock star and the bulk of a football player bared an uncanny resemblance to her late brother.

"You lived in New York? Mommy lived in New York, too. What's it like there?"

"A lot like San Francisco. Only the streets are busier, the buildings are taller, and people are a whole lot meaner."

"But what about all the superheroes there? Have you met any?"

Eddie smiled. "We may have encountered a few. You know, they weren't too friendly either."

"Oh." Jenny paused. "Why is the sky blue?"

"It's has to do with the nitrogen in the atmosphere here on Earth. It's different elsewhere. On Mars for example, the sky is pink."

"Pink that's silly. How'd ya know the sky on Mars?

"We used to live there for a while, too."

"You're silly, Uncle Eddie."

"Jenny, come here!" Mary commanded.

"Mommy!" Jenny skipped over to her mother's side. "Uncle Eddie's making chocolate chip pancakes. You want some?"

"Hey, Mary how ya'doin'?"

"Did the bad mans hurt you, mommy?"

"Jenny, go into the other room!"

"But—"

"Don't argue with me, just do it!" After Jenny ran out crying, Mary pointed the gun at Eddie. "Who are you?" It was a demand, not a question.

"Woah, Mary, what's wrong?"

"I don't know who you are or what kind of sick joke you're trying to pull, pretending to be my little brother…"

"Hey, no one's pretending here—"

"My brother died of cancer, five years ago."

"Who told you that!"

"My father!"

"We'll bet he did…" Eddie muttered bitterly. "Wait—don't tell us. Then he went on his usual tirade about how you were unplanned and how mom would still be alive if not for us in his usual emotionally scarring way."

"Eddie?"

"Yeah?"

"Why do you keep speaking in the first person plural?"

"It's a long story. Maybe we could talk about this after breakfast? The pancakes are gonna burn."

"You're that Venom-monster, serial killer, aren't you?"

"Why ever would you think that?"

"I woke up when your goo thing was still on top of me."

"Aw sh—"

CLICK!

Mary took the safety off. "Well are you or are you not that monster?"

"Yes. Wait no! We're a hero! We are. We help people. Lot's of people. We only hurt the bad people…"

"Save it, Eddie." Mary stares at this familiar stranger, though now she is not so certain he is a stranger. Things were now falling into place—how it was that Eddie disappeared—but never knowing why.

"Why didn't you call or even write? "Why weren't you here!"

"After the last argument with dad, the numbers were changed. I thought you didn't want anything to do with me either."

Still leveling the gun at his chest, Mary began: "Remember that time you stole my diary…"

"…and posted excerpts in the school newspaper? Yeah that was funny…"

Mary cocks the weapon.

"Er… We are still truly and deeply sorry…"

BANG! Mary pulled the trigger. It figures. Everyone he ever cared about has tried to kill him at least once. Why should his sister be exempt? The sound caused them to wince with pain. The symbiote had had enough. It drops its disguise of being a plaid shirt and jeans in order to protect Eddie. The alien catches and deflects the bullet and completely covers him to protect him from further injury. So it was through Venom's deep and fangy voice that Eddie complained: "Ow! Aw, c'mon! That was in sixth grade!"

"What about that time you put bugs in the shampoo…"

Mary fires again.

"I've been wanting to do this for years. Now that you're skin is practically bullet proof, I don't have to abstain…"

Note to self: next session with Dr. Kafka, be sure to let her know that insanity runs on both sides of our family… "Rrrrr! C'mon we already took a clip for you last night!" Venom growled. We just thought we'd stop the bad guys from mugging and murdering you in the streets. Maybe we shouldn't have bothered…

"Why couldn't you have just died when dad said you died?"

"So we take it you're not happy to see us?" Remembering his shrink, he tried a different tack. "Have you ever considered therapy?"

"Bullets are cheaper."

Mary loaded another magazine into her handgun. "Anything else you want to confess?"

"We may have borrowed you're toothbrush this morning."

The noise! The pain of six loud bursts fired in swift succession. His symbiote kept him from getting hit but the sound enough caused them pain. If this had been a gangster shooting at him, Venom would have rended them to pieces by now. But this was his sister. What could he do? Even if it was dubious if she fell under the "innocent" category so far he was the only one she was hurting and despite how much she hurt him or pissed him off he didn't want to hurt her.

"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Mary, stop it. You're scaring your daughter." Jenny was indeed weeping in the other room.

"Have you looked in the mirror lately?"

"What, you don't like our new look?"

"A mullet? Please!"

"We're part alien now, and you think our hair is weird!" Venom looked incredulous. "What are you on! Wait, we already know the answer to that. You're using again, aren't you?"

"I don't know what you're referring to."

"Don't give us that! We know. My other had to detox you last night in order to heal you."

"I don't have a 'problem'…" She readies to fire again. "Damn. Out of bullets. Eddie, the pancakes are burning. " She put the empty gun in her purse.

Venom put his head in his hands, exasperated. "We miss Carnage," he muttered to himself. At least he knew perfectly well where he stood with his "son." That he was a destroyer of innocents—thousands of undeserving people had met their death by his claws—and he needed to die in the slowest and most painful way possible. But right now, Venom would have preferred his company.

Looking askance at Mary, Venom edged over to the stove with a spatula and flipped the pancakes. A little singed on one side. The symbiote retreated up his arm, shying away from the heat of the stove.

"Jenny! Get your butt in here!"

"Mary… wait." Venom said as he heard her coming. He tried to hide his other from her. Not fast enough. She came in just in time to see him change. Her tears evaporated in awe.

"Wow! That's neat!"

"Jenny, set the table."

Jenny rushed to comply, still looking at Eddie like he's done some carnival trick. Eddie, ignoring this, takes the pancakes off the skillet and sets them on the table.

They eat in awkward silence, lost in their thoughts.

The collective mind pool of Eddie and the alien was seething. They had hated just standing there, letting his sister shoot him. They wanted to do what they were born to do. They wanted to snap spines and tear out hearts, and minds, and guts. Maybe they'd go out again after breakfast and sate their bloodlust by hunting down the two that got away last night. Staying around this long had been a mistake. They should have just brought her to her apartment and left. They always poison everything they touch.

Jenny takes her plate to the sink. But as she gropes blindly for the counter that looms high above her head her flailing hands knock over a jar. Out spills a rainbow of different pills. Mary is upon her.

"Idiot girl!" she screeches and pulls her hand back to swing. It's clear that she intends to hit her—hard. Venom is suddenly between them, tendrils restraining her hand.

"What the hell are you doing!"

"You have any idea how much those cost?"

"This is you 'not having a problem?' Are those things worth more than your daughter?"

"How dare you moralize at me! You don't know what it's like to have your whole world fall apart around you." You were out playing superhero while I was struggling to keep Dad and Jenny alive. It isn't fair.

"Yes, we do," he said with great conviction. "Now you stop this right now or—"

"Or what? Whatcha' gonna do Eddie? Eat my brains?"

"Don't tempt us."

"No! Don't hurt my mommy!" Jenny cried.

Venom releases Mary at Jenny's distress but continues to glare at his sister balefully.

Mary backs off, but is still defiant. "Maybe someday when you have kids you'll understand!"

Venom suddenly became very interested in the linoleum. The other retreats, hostilities have once again been evaded.

Mary looks at the kitchen clock. "I've gotta go. I'm going to be late for work."

"You have to go out again!"

"Crazy shifts, huh? Welcome to my world," she said as she grabbed her coat. "Could you stay and watch Jenny? I hate leaving her here alone. That is unless you have some other place you have to be."

They should have pulled out when they had the chance. Now they were trapped.

"No we don't have any place really…"

"Good. You can stay then. The sofa is the pull-out kind." Mary wheels out and slams the front door. They wince at the noise.

"Wanna watch Sesame Street?" Jenny asks.

"Sure kid, whatever you want." Eddie shrugs, lost in his thoughts.

What made us think we could protect them? Our coming hasn't helped anything. It has just complicated things. We poison everything we touch. But now we're trapped. What if she hurts herself? What if she really hurts Jenny? At least while we are here we might be able to do something. We cannot leave them. We failed Ann. Just turned around for a minute and…They wince. They remember seeing her dead on the street below. The memory is too fresh, too painful. But was it because we loved her too much, or not enough? Are we making the same mistake? It's our duty to protect the innocent. What kind of protector would we be if we couldn't even help our own family? We've got to stay. Someone has to be the voice of reason in this house. The irony is lost on them.

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