2019-11-17 - We're Sick


Eddie visits Betty. It goes better than expected.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: {$date}
Location: Hell's Kitchen, NYC

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Venom knows that their last encounter with Betty didn't go very well. They had been in a bad place, hunted and miserable, wounded and lashing out. They had done things they regretted, inasmuch as parts of them were capable of regret.

Making amends would not be easy.

When Betty returned home today, she found a vase of calla lilies sitting in front of their door. The note in it will read simply.

"What I did was unforgivable. But I ask your forgiveness anyway. We ask your forgiveness. If you could stand our company, just send a text and we will come by. But only with your permission.


Betty Brant jogs up the metal staircase, regardless of the heeled boots that hug around her legs. Digging for her keys, she freezes in place as she notices the lilies, still vibrant and beautiful inspite of the chill. Blinking, she reaches down, pulls at the tag and then glances about with a hint of trepidation. Her eyes scan and she frowns gently. Sighing, she gathers up the blooms and slips into the flat, shutting the door behind herself.

Setting the vase on the kitchen counter, she glances at the boxes already mostly packed and lining the walls. The card is set aside, along with her messenger bag. Jacket off, hanging up with its scarf and her gloves, the woman starts pacing. She speaks to herself, murmuring, arguing, both annoyed and empathetic to the situation playing out in her head. She promised herself she wouldn't…

A message is sent.

An hour or so passes and, at the end of it, Eddie Brock shows up on her doorstep. He wears a leather jacket, a Five Finger Death Punch t-shirt, jeans and boots. He knocks firmly and waits patiently. His hair is cut short, almost shorn. While he seems a bit more lean, a bit more gaunt, he also doesn't seem as haunted as he did. His gaze is steady, without some of the furtive elements present before, during the times of turmoil. He may never be entirely at peace. But he's closer than he's been before.

"Hi." he'll say simply when the door opens.

Betty Brant glares as she opens the door. Or she tries to. Staring out at the man across from her, she sighs and at least allows him inside. "Your ten minutes were up over fifty minutes ago." She informs him - she did give him a time limit, after all. Shutting the door, she doesn't set its collection of locks. She does, however, move around the island and sets the airhorn on clear display.

"Say what you want." She offers stoicly. She looks different and much better than when last he left her. She's warm, full of life - the bruises around her throat long since gone. Her hair is partially braided in places, linked with bronze beads of Norse rune work. The living area is spartan and boxes are set aside, ready for yet another move. The window that was destroyed has been mended.

Venom nods, "I thought it was I would have ten minutes before you kicked us out," he says, stepping inside. He looks around curiously. He's a reporter, after all, or at least he was, so he has a good eye for detail. "You look good. You seem good," he says.

He puts his hands in the pockets of his jacket, "We owe you an apology, period. We weren't well when you saw us last time. It was like a war inside my brain. Pushing and pulling. Stabbing and bleeding," he says. "Doesn't excuse what happened. Not saying it does. But you deserve the apology, whether you accept it or not. You're too important to us for us not to offer it," he says. "We're better now. Healthier. At least, insofar as we're concerned. Maybe not so healthy by some standards, but we're okay with that, too," he says.

"Eddie," she states firmly. "You hurt me. You almost broke my wrist and slammed my head against a stone wall while holding me by the throat. That was not ok and it will never be ok." She didn't forgive him for that. "I forgave you when it happened, but I don't believe you." A pause, "I can't believe you again. Last time I saw you, you were 'better', and now you're…" Shaking her head, she huffs and turns away from him, creating some distance. "I'm going to rip that thing out of you. It'll be the last thing I do for you because, even if what happened happened, I still stupidly love you. I always will." Eyeing him, her expression starts to soften. "Eddie, have you seen yourself lately? You're not…better."

Venom shakes his head, "I know what you mean. Like I said, I don't expect you to forgive me, but I had to say it all the same. We had to face you."

"You can't. We're too…we're a part of one another now. Taking it out of me, I don't think there'd be enough me left. I would be hollow, like a dead log. Fit only for burning."

"I love you, too, Betty. I know that doesn't mean much. You shouldn't forgive us. But if you need us, you should know."

"Know what? Eddie, look…you, you haven't done right by me a number of times. Christ, I wanted to just have a life with you. I don't know, do all that dumb shit what's not meant for kids like us. Get married? Have a few babies? Get old and fat and happy and live out our days yelling at the younger generation to get off our non-existant lawns."

Rubbing at the nape of her neck, she watches him carefully. "I already told you I forgave you. I did that night everything just…yeah. Why do you want to keep that thing inside of you if you know what it can do if it has a bad day? Do you keep the dog that rips open the toddler's face or do you put it down?"

Venom nods, "I know. I wasn't right before either. I tried to hide it, the…anger. The pain. The voices," he says, shaking his head, "Venom quieted that. Mostly. At least its voice I know, I can reason with. At least it is something else and not just a broken shard of me lodged in the back of my skull."

"We can do good. We can. We save people. Not in the bullshit way I used to do, with words that nobody listened to. But real time, real life. Yeah, sometimes we end up crunching a few scumbags in the process, but they're no loss. They don't deserve any better. And there are things worse than us in the dark. Sometimes you need a monster to fight a monster."

"I'm not saying you don't. Hell, I support vigilantes for getting shit done. And I know you were bad off, but you do this whole…thing where you say it and run away before anyone can help you. I wanted to help you, Eddie. I still want to, why else do you think I wanted to rip that thing out of you and honestly get you some aid?" There's a pause though, a blink in his direction before she straightens herself out. "Are you saying what I do is bullshit?" From one reporter to another…

Venom shakes his head, "No, no, I don't mean it like that, I mean…I wasn't doing it. I'm not saying it can't be done. You do good, a lot of good, but we can get our hands dirty and it feels right. It feels good. It feels like what we were meant to do," he says.

"I know you want to help. But ripping us apart isn't helping. I know it feels like it is and we can't blame you for thinking that. Not after what we did. We can't go back. We need each other. We need to be Venom."

Betty Brant leans against the kitchen island, arms crossing under her chest. She looks upset, clearly, her brow knitting together and lining her forehead. Her lips thin and fill back out naturally. "And what do you want me to do, then? Let that…thing hurt someone else while you're out there do-gooding? What if you get your hands dirty and it's the wrong type of dirt? Have you thought about this at all?"

Venom sighs, running a hand back over his closely shorn scalp, "Anyone who does this has to ask those questions. We're no worse than any of them. We're better than some," he says.

<MOST.> says the voice in his head.

"We're not asking you to do anything. Except stop worrying about us. Live your life. Be happy. We know it can't be with us, not anymore, not after…but we still want you to be happy."

Biting, hard, on her tongue, the woman simply nods and moves to the door. Opening it for him, she waits and allows a brisk brush of cold air to filter through the home. "I'm sorry, but our time is up." She explains smoothly. Whatever was on her mind would have to wait.

"You're asking me to do the impossible, but anything for you, Eddie. We'll talk again soon, I just…I can't look at you right now."

Venom wants to resist, to demand more time, but he knows well enough that she isn't likely to budge with that kind of resistance. It will only create more conflict and make things worse.

"Just think about it. We know what we did to you was wrong - but everyone makes mistakes. With power, imperfections get heightened. My mistakes have more consequences, but that doesn't make us less susceptible tom aking them."

He steps out into the hallway and looks back over her shoulder, "It was good to see you. I hope we can again soon. Take care."

"I'm sorry, what exactly am I thinking about?" She asks, pausing by the door and letting him linger outside in the cold. The door was partially closing now, just wide enough to show her face and a slip of her body.

Venom meets her eyes, "About who you're doing it for. You talk about separating us, but we don't want that. We've made that clear. So if you pursue it, know that you're doing what you want, whether we like it or not. You have the right to do that. But don't pretend otherwise," he says.

Betty Brant stares, eyes widening briefly before relaxing down. "For a smart guy, you're ignorant most of the time. I heard you and you don't have to keep repeating yourself. I was going to help you and it was only for you. I'm not pretending a goddamn thing. I said not worrying about you was the impossible part." A step back, she slams the door shut. He can hear the locks set, all five in a row - if it were possible to tell there was anger in the action, that, too, was apparent.

<That went great!>
(Shut up, V.)
<No, really, I think she's ready to be your girlfriend again.>
(That wasn't what this was about.)
<You can't lie to me, Eddie. If you want her, we could just take her.)
(I said shut up.)
<Poor Eddie. She hates you now, you know.>
(She hates you.)
<The difference is, I don't care if she hates me. Poor baby. Tell you what, let's go and find some piece of shit and rip his guts out and it'll make you feel all better.>
(You're sick.)
<We're sick.>
(Yeah…let's go.)

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