Venom couldn’t really read. Not really. He could use Eddie’s eyes and look at the words, and then, provided Eddie was thinking while he looked at the words -- and mostly he was, because he’d never tried to look at words and not read them -- then Venom understood.
Well, he understood as much as he ever was capable of understanding.
Venom was god only knew how old, but he was still childlike, when looking at things from Eddie’s world. A child. A very smart, sometimes excessively vicious child, but still.
“Hey sugah,” the waitress said, hand on one hip, giving Eddie an appreciative once-over. “What can I get for ya?”
Venom grabbed the eyes again and stared at the menu. CHEESY TOTS.
“Yeah, sure,” Eddie said, forgetting that he wasn’t supposed to talk outloud to Venom in public. Really, he needed to teach Vee about bluetooth headsets, and then Vee could pretend to be one, and people wouldn’t think Eddie was insane.
People might be wrong about that.
“Uh, I’d like an order of chee-- make that a double order of cheesy tots,” Eddie said. “And… uh… a chocolate milkshake.”
Thank christ for the symbiote, Eddie thought. Having his very own personal parasite/personal trainer meant that he didn’t have to go to the gym anymore to maintain -- well, he wasn’t ripped or anything, unless Venom was enclosing the body, but he did okay. Mostly.
Eddie poked his phone while they waited for the food; chocolate milkshake came up first, along with whipped cream and a shaker on the side that Vee didn’t even bother to look at before he was using their hands to grab for the glass.
“Easy big guy,” Eddie said under his breath. “It’ll still be here in thirty seconds. No one’s gonna take it away from you.”
That was mostly not a lie. Eddie did have a little bit of money. The problem with being a reporter -- aside from being shot at, fed to an alien parasite by accident, nearly incinerated, etc, was that it just didn’t pay well.
And Venom tended to be in too much of a hurry when he was eating bad guys to take their wallets first. Eddie wasn’t even sure if that would make them partially bad guys, that they were keeping bad guy money.
So they didn’t have much, really. Eddie had bills that he didn’t even want to think about. Even with Doctor Dan doing everything he could from the hospital’s end, it’s not like being a mostly-out-of-work video-blogger came with health insurance.
He was brooding enough about bills and life and his massive failure therein, not really paying attention to Vee, who was using the body to drink their milkshake.
Cheesy tots arrived; steaming hot and covered with cheese sauce and shreds and little bacon bits and a few jalapeno coins.
Teaching Vee to eat so that they didn’t attract horrific amounts of attention had been… difficult.
He still wasn’t really getting the idea, honestly.
Venom shoveled food into their mouths like a man after a ten day fast, chewing only when reminded, and swallowing whole lumps. That never went well for Eddie’s digestion and he was just trying to remind Vee to slow down--
EDDIE, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?
MY MOUTH IS BURNING. IT’S FIRE, EDDIE. WHAT IS ON FIRE? WHAT IS WRONG?
For a few seconds, Eddie had absolutely no idea what Venom was talking about, and then--
“Oh, those are just the peppers, Vee,” Eddie said. “We’ve talked about that before. You know, condiments and stuff.”
NOTHING IS BURNING?
“You’re not on fire, big guy,” Eddie said. “It’s just capsicum. The plant makes it as pesticide.”
DOES PESTICIDE KILL PARASITES? Venom didn’t like being called a parasite, especially since he actually wasn’t. He and Eddie had -- to make a pun -- a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitical one.
“In your case, I expect not,” Eddie said. “Humans like spicy food.”
Venom pondered this for a while, still occasionally thinking red thoughts of pain and confusion in Eddie’s direction. WHY?
Eddie shrugged. “I dunno, makes us feel alive, I guess.”
THIS IS VERY STUPID.
Eddie picked up the milkshake and slurked some of it down, noticing as Venom went from full alert to soothed. “Milk helps, or bread. Never water, or soda.”
WE DON’T LIKE SODA. Venom didn’t like carbonation at all. New Year’s Eve was gonna be a blast this year, no champagne. Yay. THIS IS BETTER.
“Yeah, it’s okay. Not everyone likes spicy food. Some people are really wimpy about it.” Eddie picked up one of the jalapeno coins and went to pop it in his mouth. Venom grabbed the hand at the last second and tossed it aside.
WE DON’T LIKE SPICY FOOD.
Eddie paused a moment, then, because he couldn’t resist, “Pussy.”