He hadn't gone to a church in a real long fuckin' time but the day seemed...strangely appropriate.

Humiliated, bruised, broken and defeated, Edward Brock–Junior–had stepped into the church, dipped his hand in the water (a part of him wanted the water to burn him, to prove that it was holy and he wasn't) and sat down at the pew somewhat expecting something awful to happen.

Maybe God would suddenly appear and start laughing his ass off. Maybe Satan and God would appear together and grudgingly Satan would cough over some well-deserved betting money.

"I told you the kid would realize it," the Almighty would say, smirking. "He just had to get served."

Satan would only reply after glancing over at Eddy, evaluating and considering. He'd see what was lurking behind the clasped hands and humiliated blue eyes.

And he'd grin.

"Let's make another bet," he'd ask. "I have a feeling I'm gonna get my money back."

And then they'd vanish.

But there was no God or Satan. No betting money, no gloating from Him or from Lucifer.

Instead, there was a parasite.

A black blob.

A beautiful monster that fell from above (he laughs at the irony of it–shouldn't it be the other way around?) and embraced him coldly in its icy sinews and darkness. Falling from a host that realized that they were not meant to be, the shadows instead came to him and they joined.

It was natural for him–of course–to be afraid as all out when the thing attacked him, jumped through his body and changed him and changed the muscles and suddenly changed everything, but he's not too bent out of shape about it now. The monster within soon convinced him that this new life was a very beautiful thing.

He had asked it–in the depths of his brain, behind the synapses and the medula oblongata and hippocampus–what it was, and for the longest time there was no answer. There was only a silence, full of Eddy's pain, agony, and terror.

But then the pain slacked off. And it spoke.

"I'm Venom," it said, strange vocal distortions and screams abruptly making sense. "And you like me."

The agony came back, but it was sweeter. And suddenly Edward Brock–Junior–looked down at himself and felt a strange power coursing through his veins.

"Yes," he said finally. "I do."

At first he was reluctant, true, but Eddy soon got his bearings. Venom started him small, first in the narrow alleys of Queens and the Bronx, but soon they moved on to bigger prey. More beautiful prey.

Eddy didn't want a hooker. No, that was too easy.

He wanted a real, unchained-by-occupation woman, someone who strutted in their high heels and gave him contempt as he tried to give them the Look.

They found her downtown, and while it had been hard to get her away from the city, both Venom and Eddy managed it. When he finally got her in Central Park, in the darkness of the night, it was rich.

She had screamed and pleaded for him to stop, hands helplessly striking his shoulders and heels ineffectually stabbing at his feet, but it was too late.

He raped her, and afterwards, when she laid sobbing and broken on the pavement, he considered killing her.

Venom told him no.

Reluctantly, he complied. Venom told him that they had bigger fish to fry, and that the thing lying beneath him wasn't worth his time or energy.

"But," Venom hissed to him gently, "the Spider is."

Eddy first got to truly taste fear in the woman, but when he later felt it from the Sandman, the love for the shadows that clothed him grew.

Eddy sits patiently in the cab parked on the wrong side of the street. He is waiting, simply waiting, for that beautiful redhead that Parker loves so much to suddenly trip her way out the door and signal the taxi.

Edward Brock–Junior–flexes his hands on the steering wheel and shudders at the fantastic feel of Venom's blood running beneath the skin, sinew and bone.

He smiles to himself and wonders back to the church.

If God and Satan did bet, who would've won?

The woman appears out the door and flags the taxi. Eddy pulls out of park and begins to run the gauntlet.

Well, of course it would've been Satan.