Fandom: Venom (Movie 2018)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: movie-typical violence and eating of heads
Characters: Eddie Brock | Venom, Dan Lewis (Venom 2018), Anne Weying, Vincent Stegron, Liz Allan
Additional Tags: Gender-Neutral Venom Symbiote (Marvel), Halloween, Halloween Costumes, Established Eddie Brock/Venom Symbiote, Dinosaurs, Body Horror, Decapitation
Summary: Eddie and Venom are invited to a costume party at the museum. While there, they find a mad scientist in the dinosaur wing who is up to no good. (Spoiler alert: Venom takes the shape of a T-Rex)
Written for the 2019 Spook Me Halloween ficathon event, and as a gift fic for
I like this place. Venom swirled inside of Eddie, a soft prickle of awareness behind Eddie’s eyeballs as Venom looked out through them.
“Yeah, me too,” Eddie craned his neck, admiring the high curving ceilings of the museum. “Haven’t been here in years.”
The museum was hosting the Saint Francis Foundation’s annual fundraiser this year, and they’d booked it the night of Halloween. The attendees were mostly in costume, though some had done little more than don a mask to match their fancy duds. There were even a few kids around, either related to parents who hadn’t been able to find a babysitter, or who just really loved the museum. One of the kids, a boy of about twelve, was munching his way through the hors d’oeuvres table, bopping his head in time to the music coming from his earbuds. Eddie could almost hear it from where he was standing, which made him wonder if the kid had it way too loud or if it was just another of the senses Venom amplified.
It’s that Imagine Dragons song that’s always on at the thrift shop.
“Really? This is your costume?” Anne asked, sounding simultaneously disappointed and amused.
Eddie turned around and grinned at her; Anne’s wig—complete with hair-buns—bounced a little as she shook her head.
“What? It’s a classic.” Eddie said defensively. He pulled the black rayon cape up and held it in front of his face with a flourish. “Count Dracula iz alwayz in style.”
Anne laughed at that.
“Plus, I didn’t even have to pay for fangs,” Eddie smiled wider, as Venom’s extended canines peeked out over his own.
“Mm. You two doing party tricks now?” She cocked an eyebrow.
“When we’ve got the night off, sure.”
“Eddie!” Dan said, as he came to stand next to Anne; he was wearing a brown vest and pants with a plastic ray-gun strapped to his leg—Han Solo to Anne’s Leia. “Hey, so glad you made it.”
“It’s not every night we get invited to a costume party at the museum,” Eddie clapped Dan on the shoulder. “Plus it’ll make a nice piece for the paper—help promote your hospital’s work for the foundation.”
Dan smiled again. “Seriously, I appreciate it, Eddie.”
“Least I can do.”
“Anne?” An older gentleman came up behind Anne and Dan.
“Excuse us a minute,” Anne said. “Time to mingle.”
Eddie gave them both a nod, and turned, heading for the hors d’oeuvres table: mini-quiches, crab cakes, shrimp and some kind of vegetable he wasn’t familiar with covered in caviar.
Venom made a dubious sound, not thrilled by any of it. Living flesh tastes better.
“So you’ve said, many, many times.” Eddie picked up a napkin and several shrimp, eating them with relish. “But tough. I like shrimp.”
Humans eat many things from the ocean; it should clearly be the other way around.
“Why do you say that?”
Ocean life is far better constructed than you.
“What? No way. Fish can’t even breathe out of the water.”
And humans can’t breathe underwater. That’s not much of an argument.
Eddie thought for a minute, unwilling to let it go, but unable to defend his stance. His eyes fell on the sign spanning the arch to their right, marked Ocean Life. “Fine, you know what? Let’s go look at some ocean life. We’ve got free admission to the museum, Anne and Dan are busy anyway.”
A fine plan. Maybe you’ll admit how poorly built humans are.
The California Academy of Sciences was a combination research institute, museum, aquarium and planetarium. Eddie hadn’t spent much time in the aquarium section, more interested in the planetarium. The stars had always held more fascination than the ocean.
“This is a well-constructed species,” Venom said shooting out a tendril to point at the model of a great white shark.
“Can’t argue with you there, but can it ride a motorcycle?”
“Having the means to propel yourself at speeds your body isn’t built for doesn’t make you the pinnacle of evolution. It just means humans have a death wish.” Venom’s head slid out of Eddie, turning towards him and they widened their jaws to mimic the shark. “One we’re happy to grant,” they added, with a snap of teeth.
“Grant to very bad people,” Eddie said poking Venom where their nose would be, if they had one.
Venom scrunched their face briefly and shifted back into something more serpentine. “What’s that one?”
“A cuttlefish,” Eddie grinned, leaning in close to watch the cephalopod flatten and elongate its body as it pressed close to the floor of the tank, shifting from smooth green to bumpy grey. “It can change its shape, just like you,” Eddie said.
They stood, watching the cuttlefish change color, texture and shape for a good three minutes before Venom said, in a most approving tone. “This species has potential. Good camouflage, excellent body control. Could use more teeth. But vastly superior to humans. ”
“Vastly? Please. They’re tiny.”
“Size is irrelevant. There are several single-celled organisms on this planet that can easily kill humans.”
“You mean viruses?”
“You got me there,” Eddie admitted. He walked to the next tank and grinned as he pointed, “Octopus.”
“They’re really smart, apparently. I read about one that kept shorting out the camera they kept over its tank.”
“Smarter than some humans, then.”
“You know, you can’t just keep insulting humans.“
Venom narrowed their eyes at Eddie, then turned back to the tank, blinking at the large octopus and when it held up a tentacle, Venom mimicked it, making their own, suckers and all.
Eddie tapped on the glass, staring at its bulbous head, and the way its flesh rippled when it moved.
The octopus ignored them both and moved to the other side of the tank, twirling elegantly as it did.
Venom retracted back inside of Eddie. “What other creatures are here?”
“There’s lots of other rooms.” Eddie spun on his heels and headed back towards the great white shark near where they’d come in.
“This one is still my favorite,” Venom said, grinning widely at the shark as they passed. “But the spine is unfortunate.”
“Unfortunate? I find spines pretty useful,” Eddie said, feeling oddly defensive of his own apparently poor construction.
“If I break it, that’s it, you’re done. We have killed many evildoers this way.”
“Well yeah, but—“
“Face it, humans are a disaster.”
Eddie sighed. “Well, can’t argue with you there.” He thought for a moment. “Ocean life was a stupid place to start anyway, here come on, let’s go look at other mammals.”
“How are any of these different from humans?” Venom asked, without sounding the least bit sarcastic.
“Uh…” Eddie gestured around at the different skeletons surrounding them, sloths, tigers, horses. “These aren’t even remotely related to humans.”
“Genetically, there isn’t much difference.”
“What? Of course there is. I’m not—I’m different from a horse!”
“Your teeth are just as flat, you have four limbs, a spine.”
“How about a tail and a mane?”
“You have a mane,” Venom tugged gently on the Eddie’s hair.
“We’re very different from horses.”
“I have yet to see any species here that’s inferior in design to humans.”
“We’ll just have to keep going then,” Eddie said, feeling more and more defensive of his own species.
“Fine, I give up,” Eddie said as they turned into the Hall of Dinosaurs. “I don’t know how humans have survived this long.”
Venom grumbled a laugh. “Long is relative. You’re a blip on the cosmic timeline.”
“You’re a...blip.” Eddie crossed his arms.
“Don’t sulk, Eddie. It’s not your fault you were born human.”
Eddie snorted. “Good thing you came along to help me out.”
“Yes, a very good thing.” Venom jerked them both to a halt and stared up, making a sound of pure awe. “What is this magnificent being?”
Eddie squinted against the overhead lights as he looked up, grinning. “A Tyrannosaurus Rex. King of the dinosaurs. They’re extinct.”
“Your planet is clearly capable of—“
“Sh!” Eddie hushed Venom, slapping his hand over their mouth. There was somebody else in the room with them, a man in the back corner of the room, behind a counter, possibly a museum employee, wearing a lab coat. That part of the room looked like an actual lab, with Petri dishes and microscopes, set up for museum staff to be out in the open so students and tour groups could watch them do sciencey things.
It’s not that the man looked out of place, per se, but he was muttering to himself in a rapidly rising and falling rhythm, something that sounded like “Where, where? I know you’re here!” over and over, and he hadn’t noticed Eddie or Venom at all. Venom retracted fully, winding tensely around Eddie’s lungs and heart as they moved closer to the lab. There was something about this guy that was setting off all of Eddie’s alarm bells, and he’d learned to trust those.
“Hi. Um…” Eddie waited for a reaction, but the guy was steadfastly ignoring him, sorting through ampules and Petri dishes with a frantic, frenzied look in his eyes. “Should you be back there? I’m pretty sure that’s off limits.”
“Only the weak-willed allow their lives to be dictated by limits.” The guy had found whatever he was looking for, eyeing the ampule in his hand like it was full of eternal happiness. He dug into his pocket and pulled out a syringe already filled halfway with something green and glowing, then set about cracking open the ampule and filled the rest of the syringe.
“Ohhhkay.” Eddie took a few steps closer until he could read the man’s name tag: Vincent Stegron. Stegron? Really? “Sure. Sure, Vincent. But this—this is a museum, and that might be an invaluable sample of prehistoric life...or something.” Eddie argued, hoping he’d catch Vincent’s attention.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment.” Stegron said, bringing the syringe to the crook of his elbow.
“Whoa, whoa, hey!” Eddie made a move towards him. “Don’t you have to like, test that on mice first?”
Stegron blinked at him. “Why would I do that? Mice are perfectly happy being what they are. I’m the one that’s miserable. Condemned to being human.”
“Uh huh.” Eddie took another step closer, debating. He had no idea what Stegron was doing or what he even had in that syringe, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t a flu shot.
“But no longer!” Stegron grimaced as he pushed down on the plunger of the syringe, sending whatever it was into his vein.
For a few long seconds nothing happened, and Eddie wondered if the guy was just run of the mill crazy. But then, he never was that lucky.
Stegron started coughing, gasping for air, his eyes rolled back into his head and he fell, convulsing, onto the museum floor. Then with a garbled scream, his spine arched and his body began to swell: torso and legs distending violently as all his muscles and bones grew; his skin rippled, covering itself with grey-green scales, and his nose flattened, as his jaw became longer, filling with razor sharp teeth.
Interesting turn of events.
Stegron stood on his now heavily-taloned feet, rolled his shoulders back, shedding the last few tatters of the lab coat as a pair of leathery wings unfurled from his back. He was easily nine feet tall, with a wing-span to match. “You see? DNA can be overwritten! Changed! “ He threw back his head and roared, or tried to, it came out more like a sputtering hiss, possibly not what he’d been going for, but certainly in character.
Eddie couldn’t help himself. “You figured out how to change your own DNA and you used it to turn into a dinosaur? Couldn’t you do a lot more important things with that kind of technology? Cure disease? Help people?”
“I don’t want to help people. I want to be a dinosaur! That’s all I want.”
“Okay. So what now? Are you gonna go in peace? Find a forest somewhere and live off of deer?” Eddie asked.
Stegron looked at him derisively. “Don’t be stupid. I’m going to eat people.”
“Whoever I want. Now I’m the top of the food chain.”
“Yeah, not so much.” Eddie said, as Venom flowed out through his pores. They grew to their full height, nearly matching Stegron’s new size.
“You found a way out, too!” Stegron crowed, excitedly. “We can share the food here. There’s plenty to go around.”
“No,” Venom said. “The people here are innocent. We only eat evildoers.”
“Speak for yourself,” Stegron said. “I’ve waited my whole life for this. I’m not about to let some anomaly stop me now.”
“We were not asking for your permission,” Venom said. “We gave you a chance to leave and exist in peace.”
“There is no peace in this world. It’s eat or be eaten.” Stegron lunged forward, elongated jaw snapping at Venom’s shoulder.
“So be it,” Venom answered, opening their mouth wide in response, tongue wrapping itself around Stegron’s jaws, forcing them back together. They grabbed hold of the dinosaur-man’s wings as he flapped them furiously back and forth,
Digging his fingers into the folds of the wings, Venom held on as Stegron started to lift sluggishly off the floor—they flung out a tendril, grabbing hold of one of the museum’s support columns, slowing Stegron’s ascent further. The claws! Eddie thought, and Venom caught on, shooting more tendrils out to grab hold of the claws at the top of the wings. Using the leverage they’d given themselves, they held onto the claws while simultaneously shoving their fists against the center wing spines until the spindly bones began to fold inwards and Stegron plummeted down the few feet he’d managed to climb.
Venom made quick work of him, yanking a security chain off of one of the exhibits and winding it around Stegron’s ankles and wrists, hog-tying him.
Stegron cried out, pained keening—far more agonized than Eddie thought the situation warranted.
“Look, You’re clearly a smart guy. Find a less criminal hobby, okay? You can —"
Stegron screamed again, a screeching, ear-piercing sound that grew louder and deeper as his body began to convulse once more, limbs and torso swelling anew.
“Oh. Guess you weren’t done.”
The chains around Stegron’s ankles stretched then broke, clattering to the floor uselessly.
Stegron pushed himself to standing again, now easily fourteen feet tall and nearly all dinosaur, he towered over Venom, opened his mouth and roared, blasting them with foul smelling breath.
Well shit, Eddie thought, helpfully.
At least he can’t fly anymore, Venom thought back, noting the wings had withered, and now looked far too small to carry the oversized beast.
“Thunder, feel the thunder,” a voice sang. “Bam bam bam. Lightning and the thunder.”
A kid’s voice, Eddie realized, heart racing.
Stegron spun around, tail lashing, and headed straight for his new target.
The kid hadn’t even noticed, too busy admiring the Triceratops display, shuffling his feet back and forth in a half-spirited dance.
“Look out!” Venom shouted, hoping to get the kid’s attention as they shot two tendrils out at the columns and launched themselves across the room, at Stegron.
Venom collided with the beast just in time to shift him off course, dinosaur jaws snapping shut just inches shy of the boy’s hair. The kid, to his credit, whipped his head around, eyes widening in terror and then ran away, screaming.
Stegron took off after him, and no matter how much Venom tried, they could barely slow him down, he was too large, too strong.
“We need to be larger.”
Great, let’s do that.
“Need more mass.”
They ran into the next room, housing the dinosaur exhibit’s crown jewel: the nearly complete tyrannosaurus skeleton, and Venom streamed off of Eddie, pouring over the T-Rex’s frame, then yanked Eddie inside.
The bones rattled as Venom wove back and forth, securing Eddie inside the rib cage.
What the hell!
“Relax. I know what I’m doing.”
Glad one of us does.
With a series of shockingly loud snaps, Venom pried the bones loose from the exhibit and leapt off the platform, chasing after Stegron with a staggering lurch.
They crashed right through the next hallway, taking a sizable chunk of the walls down as they powered through the arch just in time to see Stegron pin the boy under his foot.
The kid screamed in fear and Eddie spurred Venom on, pumping his own legs furiously as though that made any difference in their current configuration. But they got within tendril distance quickly enough, wrapping themselves around Stegron’s feet and pulled him off-balance. He crashed against the corner of the room, cracking the stone wall where his head impacted.
Venom leapt the last dozen feet and landed in front of him. With a mighty roar they thrust their head down to Stegron, but their giant T-Rex skull got wedged in the corner, too wide to fit.
Stegron looked up at them and laughed.
Venom looked down at the T-Rex’s unfortunate, tiny arms and grinned wide, flashing truly mighty teeth as they poured more of themselves down the arms, grabbed Stegron, picked him up, shoved his head into their mouth and bit down.