to ashes, a moment
Clint Barton x Reader
To Ashes, Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Summary: in the aftermath of your revelation about what happened in wakanda and to your powers to clint, you find yourself in the middle of an emotional freeze-out. eventually, something has to give.
Warnings: angst, adult language, softness
Word Count: 2,772
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prologue - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15
Days Since the Decimation: Two Hundred and Ninety-Four
Washington in the winter was beautiful and familiar, but without the benefit of central heating or a fireplace, it was hard to appreciate the snow. The cold clung to your bones, wrapping under the hems of your clothing like icy fingers and reddening your bare cheeks. You’d spent a couple of hundred on blankets and winter clothing for the two of you, and every night you tucked more than a few hot water bottles into the bottom of the bed in an effort to stave off the chill, at least long enough to fall asleep.
Still, the cold outside and lingering in the RV was nothing compared to the chill you felt radiating from Clint.
It had been sixteen days since you’d told him the truth about what happened in Wakanda. Sixteen days since you’d admitted to him that you and your failure were to blame for all of his grief and pain. And he hadn’t…
You hadn’t been able to sleep when you’d climbed back into bed, instead laying on your side and staring up at the curtains hanging over the rear window as the Winnebago continued down the interstate. Your companion hadn’t spoken a word until you’d reached D.C., and still, you’d barely heard his voice more than a few times.
You were still sleeping in shifts – you’d leave for most of the day while he slept, picking up supplies or just walking around the city, unable to listen to him toss and turn in his sleep. Clint would go out each night on a hunt, and he wouldn’t come back until long after you’d fallen into fitful sleep. Once or twice you’d woken at his return, watching through half lidded eyes as he cleaned his blade or ate the takeout you’d picked up for him. His expression was always unreadable, and you would squeeze your eyes closed again, your gut twisting with guilt.
He hated you.
And every time that thought entered your mind, you felt as though you were going to throw up.
It was warmer in the bed than out, so you worked from there, tracking the names Clint had left for you through the local police database. He was currently hunting a local gang that had built a reputation for bloody punishments for minor infractions on their turf since the Snap and the police force had been effectively cut in half. Clint had tracked down a couple of members, and through their records you’d managed to compile lists of known hangouts and associates.
You had your toes tucked under a hot water bottle; blankets pulled up over your lap. A dull pain blossomed behind your eyes – whether it was from staring at a screen or from energy building up inside you, you weren’t sure. Fumbling for your pill bottle in the pocket of your jacket without taking your eyes off the screen, you swallowed two with a mouthful of water.
You looked up as the door opened, your fingers twitching automatically for the gun you had tucked away in the slim space between the mattress and the wall of the Winnebago’s bathroom. Clint dumped a grocery bag on the table as he passed it, tugging the stocking cap off his head and running his hand through his hair. His face was flush from the air outside, and he rubbed his hands together; even as cold it was inside, it was worse out.
You gave him a small, wavering smile, nerves rising in your belly. “Hi.”
“You find them?”
You nodded, offering him your computer. This always made you feel queasy, looking into the lives of the people Clint was going to kill. You had to remind yourself, they were murderers, rapists… and that Clint would be out there even without your help. At least this way, you knew he was going in prepared, safer, and that he knew which of them deserved to be spared. “Twelve of them. But I don’t… some of them are new to the gang. Probably looking for protection now that their…” you cleared your throat. “…their families are gone.”
The muscle in Clint’s jaw flexed, but he didn’t take your laptop. Instead, he moved to the slim wardrobe opposite the bathroom; it was steadily growing dark outside. He pulled out his uniform, shrugging off his coat. His breath clouded in the air above him, and you bit your lip, screwing your eyes closed for a moment as you summoned your nerve.
He ignored you, and you inhaled, setting your laptop aside and fisting your hands in the blankets.
“Clint, please. Can we just… can we just talk?” you implored. You could feel tears sticking in your throat, and you swallowed. “Please?”
He stopped, his eyes closing and his hand freezing on the edge of the shelf in front of him. You pressed your lips together, the taste of bile on your tongue. You weren’t good at this, talking through conflict. But this wasn’t going away on its own and you couldn’t take that feeling in the pit of your stomach anymore. The pain in your head throbbed.
“Clint, do you…” your voice was small. “Do you want me to leave?”
“…No.” Clint said just as softly, his eyes opening slowly. He didn’t look at you; his eyes focusing on something in front of him. Still, you saw his shoulders relax incrementally. “No, I don’t.”
You released a breath, your hands twisting in the blankets. “You don’t?”
“I… I know you must… you hate me, after what happened in Wakanda—”
“I don’t.” Clint said, his voice almost strained. Broken.
“No. I don’t.”
“But if I hadn’t—”
“You’re not the only one who retired, Y/N.” he reminded you, his head bowed.
“I know, but…”
He closed the wardrobe door, turning and leaning back against it. He folded his arms across his chest, his gaze on the floor. “You said it yourself. Even Wanda couldn’t stop him.” His tone turned bitter. “Do you really think that a couple more years at the compound would have made a difference?”
Your lips parted wordlessly, the taste of metal on your tongue. He… he was letting you off the hook. He was wrong, the guilt remained with you, you knew that, but you couldn’t bring yourself to argue with him. Not when it meant that he didn’t despise you, didn’t blame you for everything he’d lost. “But you’ve been… you haven’t been talking to me. I thought… I thought you were angry with me.”
Clint sighed, eyes closed and his head falling back against the wood of the door with a dull thump. “Nothing I’ve done has mattered. None of it.”
He looked down at you, and you could see tears welling in his eyes. It made your chest tighten, but you forced yourself not to look away again. He didn’t open up, he didn’t talk. You couldn’t deny him now that he finally was. “I’ve been thinking, for the last nine months, that I could have done something. I could have made a difference… I could have changed the outcome, somehow. I could have…” he swallowed, his gaze returning to the ceiling as if gravity could stop the tears in his eyes from falling. He took a breath, running a hand over his face to get his emotions back under control. “Hearing what happened… I guess for the first time, I just… nothing I could have done would have mattered. And that,” he huffed a bitter laugh, “is just a whole different kind of hopeless.”
“Clint,” you said softly, torn between giving him space and wanting to offer him some kind of comfort. “We can’t know—I mean, we don’t know that you couldn’t have—”
“It’s fine, Y/N.” he cut your off with a shake of his head, a mask of expressionlessness falling over his features again. It made you sad – how many times had he been pushing forward that stoicism when he’d been so close to breaking down? You’d never believed that he was getting better, that he wasn’t still buried under his own grief, but it was still almost confronting to see the shift firsthand. “You coming with me tonight? I could use someone watching my six.”
“Uh, yeah. Yeah, just give me a minute to change.” you gave him an almost relieved smile as you adjusted to the sudden shift in conversation, but it faltered as you made to stand, turning to a grimace as your headache spiked with the movement.
Clint raised a brow, his hand catching your arm instinctively. And after passing out on him twice in the last few weeks, you couldn’t really blame him. “You’re having another one of your headaches, aren’t you?”
“I’ll be fine,” you tried for a casual tone. “It’ll pass.”
“You take your meds?”
“Mm-hmm.” you nodded, continuing past him to grab your mission gear from one of the kitchenette cupboards. You really didn’t have much in the way of space. “Just before you got back. They’ll kick in soon.”
“Didn’t you have exercises you could do to take the edge off?”
“I did, but I don’t have enough control over it to release it safely anymore. So, it’s just easier to… not” you shrugged a shoulder, squatting down in front of the cabinet. “Like I said, it’ll pass.”
“But if you don’t, you’re gonna hurt yourself again, aren’t you?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” You looked up from the cupboard, smiling at his apparent concern. Your head was still pounding, but you forced yourself to ignore it. “I’m fine, Clint. Really. It took months for me to blow up like that. It won’t happen again.”
He rolled his eyes, pointing towards the bed. “Sit your ass down, Y/L/N.”
You raised a brow, standing. “You’re using my last name? Really? Barton?”
You sighed, but did as you were asked without further argument. You made yourself comfortable on the edge of the bed, looking up at him with faux impatience. If this is what it took to distract him from the way he was feeling, you were happy to oblige.
“Okay, so…” Clint folded his arms over his chest, rocking back and forth on his heels awkwardly. Dealing with your power issues had always been Bruce’s issue; this wasn’t exactly Clint’s wheelhouse. “What do you usually do?”
“Usually? I don’t know, I’d just… make bubbles, I guess.”
“Yes, Barton. Bubbles.” you shot back drily. “I’d just make little projections whenever the pressure started to build up until it eased off again.”
“And you don’t do that now, because…?”
“You saw what happened in the studio.” you replied. You raised a fist tentatively, brow furrowing in concentration as you opened it and summoned the smallest amount of energy you could. The familiar, azure sparks danced along your arm before fizzling out against your fingers, stinging lightly as they went. “I can’t control it anymore. Not even on a small scale.”
“What could happen? If you really tried?”
“That was me really trying.” you said, dropping your hand to your lap again. “So, more nothing. Or I could blow a hole in the roof of the RV.”
Clint nodded, and after a moment, he moved to sit beside you. The ‘doorway’ to the bed was small, and you shifted awkwardly to make room for him. He sat facing you, and you moved to mirror his posture with your own, your bent knee resting on top of his, your other leg dangling off the side of the bed.
Your gaze fell to your lap uncertainly before finding his hands; you could still see the faint remains of the burns you’d left on his hands and wrists. He reached over almost hesitantly, his fingers curling carefully around your own. His hands were surprisingly warm and soft against your cold fingers, and he brought your hands out between the two of you. Your lips parted in a silent question, eyes lingering on your intertwined hands for a moment longer before you looked up, meeting Clint’s gaze.
“You can do this, just like you did it before,” he told you quietly, turning your hands in his so they were palm up.
“You mean when I destroyed some poor person’s dance studio and passed out for three days?”
The corner of Clint’s lips twitched upward, the ghost of an amused smirk. “You managed to get all that energy back under control. If you can do that while the room is falling apart, you can do it on a much smaller scale right here with me.”
“I’m… I’m gonna hurt you again.”
“I can take it.” he said softly, and you felt his thumbs press gently against the middle of your palm. “We’re gonna take it slow, okay? Just bring out a little bit, just like you did before. But this, time, don’t worry about making a bubble. Just bring it here.”
You bit your lip, uncertainty clouding your features.
“You can do it, Y/N.”
You exhaled a long, unsteady breath, in an attempt to calm yourself, forcing your shoulders to relax. You closed your eyes, focusing on the light pressure of Clint’s thumbs as he traced tiny, reassuring circles into your palms. Concentrating on the energy still building inside your mind, you summoned a small thread of it and pushed it down your arms. You opened your eyes again reluctantly after a moment, breaking into a smile as you saw the sparks dancing around your palms and up onto Clint’s hands. He didn’t flinch away, but his fingers tightened briefly on your hands as new marks rose on his skin.
A disbelieving laugh bubbled out of you. “I’m… it’s actually working!”
Clint chucked, a small smile of his own playing on his lips, his gaze on your hands. “Try to take it further, okay? Show me a bubble.” He released one of your hands, pointing to a space a few inches above your palms. “Right here.”
You nodded uncertainly, nerves returning. Memories of cracking floorboards and smashed mirrors came to mind, and you tightened your jaw as you forced the energy out along your fingers. It faltered, rebounding back up into your wrists, and your hands jerked automatically back towards you.
Clint caught them, urging your hands gently back into their previous position. He met your eye, and he took a long, slow breath, encouraging you to do the same. “C’mon, honey. You’ve got this. Just one little projection, nice and easy.”
“You’re not going to hurt me,” he murmured reassuringly. “Don’t think about it, okay? Are you—are you still studying?”
You raised a brow, confused at the sudden redirection of the conversation. “What?”
He shrugged a shoulder, almost sheepishly. “You said in the studio that I… that I haven’t asked you anything since you tracked me down.”
You breathed a laugh, surprised. “You actually heard that?”
“Well, yeah. You basically screamed it at me.”
“I didn’t scream it.” you responded indignantly. “I may have shouted a little.”
“Oh, right. Of course.” Clint nodded in faux-seriousness, his hands smoothing over yours. “So? Are you? Studying, I mean.”
“No. I mean, I kind of put the degree on hold for a while.”
“And it was… medicine?”
“Not even close.”
He smirked, ducking his head for a moment. When he met your eye again, you felt his hands squeezed your own. “Ready to try again? Just focus on the spot, relax, and exhale…”
You did as he said, your breath a fog in front of you. You pulled forth the energy again, letting it travel down your arms and into your hands. You met Clint’s eye again as you pushed it further, focusing instead on his face as a small, glistening ball of blue energy appeared between the two of you.
The light shifted and rolled, growing to the size of a softball before it stopped, hovering a few inches above your hand. The pressure in your head eased, and you grinned. “It’s working. It’s actually working!”
Clint’s own smile widened at your excitement; his hands curled around your wrists. “Not so broken after all.”
Your smile turned almost giddy, and you closed your fist, the bubble dissipating with the gesture. The pain in your head had lessened, and while it didn’t disappear completely, it was such a relief to know you were gaining control again. You could feel tears well in your eyes, and you blinked them back hurriedly.
“Thank you, Clint.”
He released your hands, drawing his own back into his lap. “Any time.”
tags: @lovely-dreamer19 @wittyforachange @wefracturedmotivation @january-echoes @glossyloner @capitalnineteen @youclickedthislink @s0ftness @castieltrash1 @absolutly-me @lol-you-thought @ruderavenclaw @startrekkingaroundasgard @notafraid-bitch-igot9lives @akumune @xxboesefrauxx @whovianayesha @bradfordbantams @alice-the-nerd @rimaries @fanofalltheficsx @ace-fandom-dumbass @kaelyn-lobrutto24 @twsssmlmaa @earth-pig-fish @meeksmusic83
one again i haven’t proofread because of who i am as a person. if you’d like the be tagged in future chapters, please send me an ask :) don’t forget to like/reblog/comment :)
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Team x reader
Bold Italics is Venom speaking in your head.
Bold is Venom speaking aloud.
Italics is the reader thinking.
The day you met your soulmates was the worst day of your life. Worse than any moment you'd experienced so far in your short life, including the day you bonded with an alien.
Said alien was Venom. And Venom was a symbiote that Carlton Drake had brought back to the planet, along with four others, and then had begun to experiment on.
You met Venom when working with Eddie Brock as his research assistant and filmographer.
The two of you had been working on an expose on Carlton Drake. The two of you wanted to show the world Drake wasn't the saint he claimed to be, but that had resulted in the two of you being fired from your network before you met Venom.
One of Drake's scientists had realised Drake's experiment's had gone too far, and she sought the two of you out to publicly expose the man.
But things didn't go the way you thought they would.
You and Eddie had accidentally released Venom during your break-in at Drake's labs, and Venom had clung to you before eventually bonding with you in true symbiosis.
It had been rough at first. In the beginning, you were nothing more than a mean's to survive to Venom. It didn't matter that your body was a compatible host for the symbiote, and he showed that by almost killing you.
But as time passed, Venom's worldview changed. He saw the world from your eyes, and with your help and encouragement, Venom saw that the world could be beautiful.
The two of you left San Francisco after the 'Drake Incident', as the two of you fondly called it, moving to and settling down in New York.
The two of you had tried to keep your profile low, as hard as that could be, with Venom occasionally snacking on a terrible person and managed to do so for almost two years.
But one day, the worst day of your life, you had returned to your studio to find Nick Fury waiting for you.
"You're a hard woman to track down, Miss L/N." Fury commented from where he sat in your living room.
Who is this? Is this dinner? Do we eat him?
"No, bud. We're not going to eat him. Yet." You said aloud, carefully watching Fury.
"I'd hope not. We haven't even begun to discuss why I'm here." Fury said, bringing himself to a stand.
"I'm sorry, but we don't make a habit of making deals with the devil when he's uninvited." You scoff, crossing your arms over your chest.
"The devil, huh? And here I was, ready to make you an offer that I thought you'd appreciate. And you're little parasite as well."
"Take that back!" Venom hissed as his head emerged by your shoulder. "We should feast on your kidneys before ripping off your head!"
"It's okay, Vee. He didn't mean it." You soothed the symbiote, reaching your hand out to rub his head. "I suggest you watch your words, Director. He might take them to offence." You warned.
"I'll try and remember that." Fury nodded. "Miss L/N, you find yourself in a unique situation. Not everyone can say they have an alien sharing their body with them."
"I'd hope not." You rose a brow. "Can we cut to the chase, please? Vee's getting antsy and thinking about your liver coated in chocolate sauce."
"Still wouldn't make it taste any good." Fury shrugged. "Your little friend ate a HYDRA cell last week." He stated, staring you down blankly.
"You mean those assholes who were planning on blowing up a children's hospital if we read their files correctly?" You said, raising a brow at the man.
"Yes. It would appear the city owes you a thank you." Fury commented.
"We're not asking for one." You shook your head.
"And that's why I want you to join the Avengers Initiative." Fury finally revealed.
"Because we won't accept a thank you?" You asked, raising a brow.
"Because you're not doing this for a thank you." Fury confirmed. "That's what we need. Not some of these gimmicky heroes who are only in this for the fame, but the people who can fight the battles no-one else can."
"I don't know if you've noticed this, but we're not a hero. Vee eats people when permitted, and I'm not all that fond of most people. Oh, and also, we are not heroes."
"Well, not with that attitude you're not." Fury said, throwing a folder onto your coffee table.
"And what's that?" You asked, raising a brow at the manila.
"That is my offer. That is the Avengers offer. It extends to both you and your friend. Why don't you read it through and get back to me? My number's in the back." Nick Fury said before brushing past you and exiting your apartment without another word.
"We need to get new locks." You sighed.
We should take the offer.
"No, we really shouldn't."
It's a good deal.
"You're only saying that because they said you can eat all the HYDRA agents you want."
"Vee, I don't think you understand what they want from us."
They want us to be heroes. They want to feed us and give us a new nest.
"Exactly!" You exclaimed, jumping from the couch. "They want us to move into their facility. They want us close to them. What if this is all a ploy so they can get close and hurt you?" You wondered as you began to pace.
You're worried about us.
"Of course, I'm worried about you, Vee. I love you, and I don't want to see you hurt."
They're heroes. They won't hurt us.
"Just because they're supposed to be the good guys doesn't mean they are, and we're not seen as the good guy, Vee. New York calls us a demon. How do we know the Avengers don't see us as the same?"
"We're not a monster." Venom said as his head reappeared beside yours. "Not anymore. We can change their minds." He told you, brushing his cheek against yours.
"You got to stop watching TV late at night, bud." You sighed, rubbing a hand down your face. "You watch too many soaps and self-help programs."
"Don't forget the cooking shows."
"Never." You smiled at the being. "I guess I better get used to you have more sage advice than me. I think Stark has a better cable plan than we do." You said after a pause, causing Venom to purr happily.
You had called Nick Fury moments after your and Venom's conversation. For a moment, you'd worried you were calling too late, but when he answered after the first ring, you figured he must have been waiting for you.
Fury said he'd send a car for you tomorrow morning at nine a.m. sharp before hanging up on you.
Nine a.m. came far too soon for your liking. Before you could fully comprehend what was happening, you were being bundled into a car and driven to the Avengers Compound.
"Miss L/N?" A woman asked as you exited the car. "I'm Agent Hill. Follow me." She said, gesturing you forward before leading you into the building.
I'm regretting this. Fuck, where's the exit?"
"Director Fury is meeting with the team in meeting room two. He's briefing them on you and Venom, what little we know." Agent Hill told you as she led you through the halls.
"He sure got all this organised fast." You mentioned carefully taking in your surroundings.
"It's his job to." That is all Maria said before coming to a stop and gently, yet still somehow loudly, knocking on the door before you.
"Right on time." Fury said as he opened the door, and Maria pushed you forward. "Avengers, meet Y/N L/N, a.k.a. Venom." Fury stated as you entered the room to see the six Avengers sitting around a table.
Before you could say a word to the assembled Avengers, you felt your soulmarks burning brightly against your collarbone.
A burning sensation the six Avengers all clearly felt as well.
"Didn't see this coming."
"So, what's the plan?" Steve demanded, turning towards Fury.
"How do we get this out of her?" Steve asked, causing Venom to rumble as you froze.
"You don't." You snapped. "Fury told me that you wanted the two of us on the team. He said nothing about you trying to hurt him." You said, glaring daggers at the one-eyed man.
"That was before."
"Before I found out our soulmate was the one hosting that thing!" Steve exploded, jumping from his chair. "See sense, doll. You need to get rid of this thing. You need to get rid of it now."
"I am not your doll, Captain, and you do not get to make orders of us." You said, standing your ground even when Steve stormed past you.
"I'm sorry. I can't do this." Bruce said as he stood quickly from his seat, face turning green. "I need some time." He added, and before anyone could say a word, he left the room.
You refused to watch Bruce walk away and forced yourself to eye the remaining four, including Natasha and Clint, who were signing to each other.
And when the two stood and also made their way from the room, you felt Venom curl around your aching heart.
"Well, that's introductions done." You said, straightening your back. "We have some packing to do if we're still to move in here." You continued before turning on your heel and towards the door.
"Wait! Are we not going to talk about this?" You heard Tony exclaim as two chairs scrapped behind you.
"Get us out of here, Vee." You said, allowing him to take you over. Venom followed your instructions without a word or a thought, and the two of you crashed through a window before racing back to your home.
It was only back in the safety of your nest did Venom recede, and you fell numbly onto your couch and began to cry silently.
"Do you want us to eat them?" Venom asked, brushing tears away with his tentacle. "Would that make you stop leaking?"
"No, bud. I don't want you to eat them." You mumbled, staring blankly at nothing. "Don't eat them."
"How do we help?"
"Let me sleep tonight, Vee. That's all I want."
"Okay. We can do that. We can." Venom purred, curling around you but not taking you over.
"Thank you, sweetheart."
You weren't sure when you fell asleep or even how you could sleep with all your thoughts, as well as Venom's, running through your head.
But what you were sure about was the blaring noise that jolted you awake.
"God damn it! What did I say about cooking unsupervised, Vee?" You shouted as you stumbled to your feet, still half-asleep.
"We're not cooking." Venom's voice rang through your mind just as you froze in the kitchen's doorway.
"How did you get in here?" You demanded as you faced Tony and Thor standing in your kitchen.
"Venom! He let us in!" Thor cheered as he held a plate towards the billionaire who was making charred bacon.
"After threatening to inhale our organs if we made you leak again," Tony added.
"We don't like you leaking. We don't like you hurting." Venom said, head solidifying at your shoulder. "They didn't make you hurt. They get to enter the nest."
"Speaking of yesterday, that's why we come bearing bacon." Tony piped up, holding a plate of unburned meat towards you.
"You're here to bribe us?" You asked, raising a brow.
"No. We came to make amends to the both of you." Thor said, speaking in a low tone for the first time since you'd met.
"And to get to know our soulmate," Tony added, pushing the plate into your hands.
"Oh, so, we haven't been rejected yet. I guess it should be a group decision, and judging by the bags under your eyes, I'd wager they never went to bed last night." You said, placing the plate on the table and crossing your arms.
"We're never going to reject you, Y/N." Tony sighed as Thor frowned behind him.
"So, the others will, but I'll have the two of you? Doesn't seem fair for you guys." You rolled your eyes before jumping as Thor growled loudly.
"Do not growl at us!"
"We are not going to reject you!" Thor declared loudly, ignoring Venom's protective hisses. "To reject one's soulmate is barbaric!"
"Easy point-break." Tony cooed, pressing himself into Thor's side. "Everything's fine. Everyone's okay." He added as Thor visibly deflated. "In Asgard, rejecting your soulmate is basically the most disgusting thing you can do," Tony explained to you and Venom.
"It's common practice on Earth." You quietly pointed out.
"It shouldn't be," Thor grumbled. "Freyja spends her life bonding the souls most compatible. She makes no mistakes, and she only seeks to make people happy. Why would anyone deny her judgement?"
"Are you sure she makes no mistakes? Because judging from everyone's reactions yesterday, the others think we're a mistake." You shook your head.
"That's not true." Thor denied you intensely.
"Y/N, we weren't given a lot of information on the two of you. All we knew was that our new teammate was hosting an alien that had almost killed her two years ago." Tony tried to reason with you.
"He didn't mean to." You defended the symbiote who retracted into your body sadly. "It was an accident."
"But we didn't know that. For all we knew, Venom could have killed you then and was just puppeteering your corpse." Tony told you.
"That's disgusting." You snapped as Venom bristled. "So the others think I'm a corpse?"
"The others believe you're not in control of yourself and, Venom's actions."
"Well, they wouldn't know any better. No, because instead of giving us a second to tell our story, Steve demanded I get rid of him."
"Look, Y/N, everyone on this team has been through some shit. Okay? We all have issues, and a lot of them pertain to a lack of control. They don't hate Venom because he's an alien. They're scared you're not in control." Tony admitted.
"But you can show them otherwise. When you move in, you can show the others that their belief is false and Venom is safe." Thor added.
"You still want me to move in?" You asked, raising a brow. "After all, this?"
"We were set on you moving in before, and now that we know you're our soulmate, we aren't taking our offer back." Thor smiled at you.
"On the contrary, we're more set on having the two of you much closer," Tony told you.
"The others might not like it. It might disturb the peace." You warned the two.
"Sweetheart, there hasn't been a moment of peace since any of us found one another." Tony chuckled. "It doesn't matter if the others are bothered. You are ours. Freyja herself chose you for us." He added, causing Thor to grin.
Vee? What do you think?
Will this hurt?
I don't think so.
It's a better offer now. Venom concluded before extending a tentacle towards the two Avengers.
To their credit, neither man flinched as Venom gently ran a tentacle across both man's cheek.
"Good." Venom spoke aloud for the boys benefit. They are good, this will be good for you. He added, the words only meant for you.
Good for us, Vee.
"Well, I'm not much of a cook, and neither's Vee, but we can make a mean french toast." You offered. "If you're lucky, we could be persuaded to make it every other day. So long as you keep the bacon coming." You said, causing the boys to smile.
"That can be arranged, Ripley," Tony smirked.
I know you're bored. You've been bored since we woke up, and you haven't given me a moment's peace since.
Not our fault you're in a mood. We didn't make the boys go on a mission.
I'm not in a mood!
There was a slight possibility that Venom had correctly assessed your mood and its cause.
It had been a month since you'd moved with the other Avengers, and still, only Tony and Thor had been willing to get to know you and Venom as a soulmate and a teammate.
The two had been sent out the night before, and realising how lonely you were in a home full of soulmates had put a damper on your spirit.
I'm sorry. It's not your fault, Vee.
Apology accepted. But we're still bored.
We've already gone on patrol today, bud. We're not going again.
Fine. We want to go to the swinging room.
The swinging room.
Okay, bud. Let's go swinging. You thought before rising to a stand. Venom was practically vibrating with excitement as the two of you made your way down to the gym.
Tony had created an entire section of the gym for you and Venom to specifically train in. He'd made it with your input and had designed it to meet both your needs.
"Alright, bud, let's do it." You said, throwing your hair up before allowing Venom to do what he wanted.
Venom's form bled over your skin, and soon enough, the two of you were flying through the air.
There had been a time you were scared of leaping from building to building. You had been terrified of falling, but it didn't take long for your faith in Venom always catching the two of you to outweigh the fear.
Now it was second nature. To take the back seat and let Venom fly across the city.
What felt like hours later, Venom released control back to you.
"Is your boredom satisfied now, sweetheart?" You asked, draining your water bottle dry.
"Satisfied." Venom panted, his head resting on your shoulder. "We're hungry now."
"Of course you are." You rolled your eyes fondly. "C'mon. There's a plate of brownies in our room with our names on it." You said, causing the symbiote to purr.
You turned towards the doorway, intent on leaving before you froze in your tracks.
"Sorry. We're not disturbing you, are we?" Natasha asked, leaning against the doorframe with Clint at her side.
"No. Not at all. In fact, we were just leaving if you two wanted the room." You said, waiting for the two to move.
"Actually, we wanted to speak with you," Natasha told you. "Clint especially." She said, pushing the blonde into the room.
"I wanted to say I'm sorry to you and to Venom," Clint said. "I didn't mean to hurt you."
"You're really uncomfortable right now, aren't you?" You asked, causing the man to burn bright red as Natasha chuckled behind him.
"I'm not really good at this emotion stuff," Clint admitted.
"Okay. We can forgive you, but I just want to know why. Why did you run away?" You asked, crossing your arms.
"I've had people play with my head before. I've done things I never wanted to because of other people. And I read your file, and Nat talked me down, but when I found out you were my soulmate, I got scared." Clint admitted. "I didn't want my soulmate to suffer as I did."
"That's fair enough, I suppose." You nodded. "What do you think, Vee?"
"Who hurt our birdie?" Venom growled. "Where are they?"
"Down, boy." Natasha smiled as she moved to stand before you. "Trust me, they're long gone." She said, holding her hand out towards the symbiote.
Venom didn't hesitate to push his head into her hand as a tentacle extended towards Clint but stopped short from touching him.
"He just wants to make sure you're okay." You told the man.
"That's it? You're not gonna punch me and make me beg for your forgiveness?" Clint asked, staring at you as if you had a second head.
"The thought never crossed our mind." You shook your head. "I read your file, too, Clint. I had a little bit of an idea of what was going through your mind. You just needed time and space to process it all."
"Why are you so okay about this? I hurt you."
"Yeah, you did. But I've said things in anger before. I've done things in the moment that I've grown to regret. It happens, and it's probably gonna happen again. What matters is being able to accept the mistake and move past it." You told the man.
"Shit, Nat. How did we get so many good soulmates?" Clint asked as he held a hand out to Venom. "I would have thought you'd be a whole lot slimier." He mentioned as Venom sought out any injuries he could have.
"Rude." Venom grumbled, flicking Clint on the forehead, causing you and Natasha to laugh.
"We were just about to get something to eat. Maybe you guys could join us?" You suggested to the two assassins.
"That sounds great." Natasha smiled, reaching her other hand out to touch your cheek. "We'd love to." She said, brushing her thumb along your cheekbone.
Two down. Two to go. Venom thought to you as you all made your way back to your room.
Two more to go.
"Tony, what do you even want to show us?" You asked into your phone.
"I've already told you it's a surprise," Tony told you.
"We don't like surprises." Venom grumbled into the device.
"Trust me, you'll like this one," Tony promised. "You'll both like it."
"So you say." You teased as you finally made it down to his lab. "Tony, the doors locked." You told the genius after finding the code wouldn't work.
"Oh, yeah, I changed the code. Type in 8008135." He said.
"Real mature, Stark." You snorted as you typed in the numbers. You hung up your phone, shoving it in your back pocket, before entering the lab. "Tony? Where are you?" You called, looking around the large lab.
"He's not here," Bruce said as he shuffled into your eye line.
Before you could question what he meant, the lab door slammed shut behind you.
"Damnit." You sighed. "Anthony Edward Stark, unlock this door right now." You demanded, turning towards where you knew a camera to hang.
"I'm sorry, Miss, but Mr Stark has asked me to inform you that there is an error with my systems. The doors will not open until he has managed to resolve the matter." JARVIS informed you politely. "This error has also rendered cell phone communications null and void."
"I'm gonna kill him." You muttered before turning back to Bruce. "If you want, we'll stay on this side of the lab, and you can stay on that side." You offered the scientist.
"You don't need to stay on the opposite side," Bruce told you.
"You sure about that?" You rose a brow.
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?" Bruce asked, furrowing his own brows.
"Because we've been here for two months, and every time we're in the same room, you give us the saddest look you can muster, and you run away from us." You told the man, causing him to turn red.
"Not every time. Surely?"
"Every time, Doctor Banner." You said, causing Bruce's face to fall. Bruce let out a long sigh before he collapsed onto a stool and shoved his face into his hands.
"I didn't mean to." He whispered. "I swear I didn't mean. I'm so sorry," Bruce said, looking up at you.
"I can take the silent treatment, Bruce, but isn't the running away a little over the top?" You wondered.
"It is," Bruce admitted, faltering your anger. "I'm so sorry. I never meant for this to happen."
"Bruce, I get it. We're a lot, and if we're truly something you can't handle, then you don't have to. You can reject us, and we'll leave you alone because I can't stand to be the reason one of my soulmates is hurting." You said after a minute.
"No!" Bruce exclaimed, his voice deeper than its usual timber. "No." He repeated normally. "It's not you."
"Oh my god." You cut him off, rolling your eyes. "Please don't."
"No, I didn't mean it like that. But I mean, it's not you that's hurting me. It's me. And the other guy." Bruce said quickly.
When you didn't say anything, Bruce took that as his cue to continue.
"It's us. We're our own problem. Because I spent years hating Hulk and trying to kill him or trying to kill myself. But you didn't do that. You listened to Venom and what he wanted, and he listens to you. The two of you care for one another, and you could do that within weeks of being together. And it took Hulk and I almost two decades to even try."
"It wasn't that easy, Bruce." You shook your head. "God knows we were just the same."
"I tried to kill Y/N." Venom admitted sadly, nuzzling your cheek.
"And I would have left Venom for dead after that first day." You added with a wince. "It's not easy to share a body with someone, something, else. It's hard, and it's terrifying, but I wouldn't let anyone hurt Vee."
"I'd kill anyone who tried to hurt, Y/N."
"And Hulk would do the same for you." You told the man. "And I don't think you'd let anything hurt him."
"But I didn't try. Hulk and I could have been so much better, so long ago, if I had just gotten off my high horse and listened to him." Bruce told you.
"Bruce, there is no manual for people like us." You said, moving to stand in front of the man. "There is no right way to navigate a relationship like ours, and you can't change how you acted before. All you can do is promise yourself, both versions, that you'll do better in the future." You told him, resting your hands on his shoulders.
"Oh, God. I'm so sorry. I've ruined everything." Bruce began to cry. "Please don't reject us." He said, pressing his head into your stomach.
"Hey, no, we're okay." You said, wrapping your arms around the brunette. "We forgive you. We're going to be okay." You continued to soothe the man as tears began to slide down your cheeks and Venom wrapped around the scientist.
"Sorry," Bruce grumbled in his deeper tone. "Sorry."
"We forgive you." Venom promised.
The four of you stayed in that position long after Bruce calmed down and long after the door opened.
"Vee, please calm down." You begged the displeased symbiote. "I get you're mad, but it's okay. We'll find something else for you to eat."
We lost our prey.
"I know you did, but there are other things for you to eat." You consoled him as you entered the large kitchen. "Look, someone went shopping today." You said, opening a large freezer. "What are we in the mood for? Tater Tots or a nice juicy brain?"
"Both it is, Bud." You said, pulling the two out. "I want some of the Tots, so you're gonna let me cook 'em." You warned the symbiote as you set the box to the side and opened the container holding the brain.
Fine. But we're eating this now. Venom told you before quickly engulfing your form.
Venom took the container in his large hands and threw it into his mouth, swallowing the container and brain whole.
"Jesus Christ." You heard from the doorway. Both your heads snapped to the side to see a pale Steve watching the scene, beginning to sway.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy there, Cap." You said as Venom's body receded into yours. You rushed towards the blonde and caught his shoulders as Venom's tentacles prepared to catch him if he fell. "Are you alright?"
"Am I alright?" Steve sputtered, staring at you as if you had grown two heads. "You just ate a brain!"
"Technically, Vee ate the brain." You responded calmly. "You should probably sit down. Wouldn't want you to hit your head." You mentioned pushing him into the kitchen. "I'm making Tater Tots. Want some?"
"No, thank you." Steve managed to say, watching you closely.
"Suit yourself. More for us." You shrugged, moving to grab a tray and start the oven.
"How are you so calm?"
"About what?" You wondered before smacking one of Venom's tentacles. "Don't eat them all!" You scolded as he stole a Tater Tot.
"About what? About him!" Steve said. "You have an alien living inside of you! An alien who eats people!"
"We don't eat all people." You rolled your eyes.
"Only the bad ones." Venom spoke up.
"That's right, bud." You praised the symbiote before turning back to Steve. "Venom knows the rules. We only ever eat bad people. Like those HYDRA assholes, or murders, or the rapist we almost had tonight."
"But you're still killing people. It doesn't matter if they're good or bad." Steve protested.
"No, it doesn't, Steve. And I'm not 100% okay with eating people, but I would rather Vee eats a group of HYDRA agents, than say, a doctor." You said, staring the man down. "We've spent hours negotiating how we chose who he eats, and Venom follows those rules."
"But they're people."
"I know that, Steve. But Venom's not killing someone who didn't deserve it. He's killing murderers, rapists, HYDRA, people who hurt others for their own enjoyment." You told him. "It doesn't make us good, but it makes the world out there safer for the innocents. We're just taking out the bullies."
Steve didn't say anything, just continued to stare at you.
“Look, I’m going to offer you the same thing I did everyone else. If you can’t handle the fact that Venom is a part of me, you can reject us. But please, don’t reject us because you were too scared to get to know every part of me.
We are more than you think. There are more parts to us than you can see and we are not a monster. He likes cooking shows, and I like to edit videos. We both like Tater Tots and hate bullies. There’s more to us than what’s on the surface.” You told Steve. “But if it’s too much, you can reject us. I’m tired of being angry at you. I’m tired of hurting. So, if this is it, get it over with.”
“You know, I’ve never had a Tater Tot before.” Steve admitted after a minute. “I hate bullies too, and I don’t think I’ve ever watched a cooking show before.” He continued, causing you to let out a watery laugh.
“Yeah?” You asked.
“Yeah.” Steve confirmed. “I’m sorry, Y/N. Venom. I hate bullies more than anything else, and I didn’t realize I became one.”
“I wouldn’t call you a bully.”
“Yeah, I’d go that far.” You agreed with Venom as Steve let out a weak laugh. “Lucky for you, I’m a pretty forgiving person. Especially for my idiot soulmates.”
“Because I’ve gotten so used to Venom, I forgot that to other people he’s scary. And our situation is different. I forgot that this isn’t everyone’s normal, and it took me realizing that to understand your reactions.”
“I am going to do everything in my power to make this up to you.” Steve promised rising from his chair to pull you into an embrace. “I will make every action up to the two of you.”
“We’ll hold you to that, Cap. But first, you’ve never had a Tater Tot?”
It had been a week since Steve apologized to you and Venom in the kitchen. A week since you had been officially accepted by all of your soulmates.
And it had been the best week of your life since you met your soulmates.
“We’re gonna go on patrol.” You announced, entering the group living room where everyone sat. “Gonna try and catch some wannabe mobsters tonight.”
“That sounds fun, sweetheart.” Natasha smiled from where she sat on Bruce’s lap.
“You have a gun on you?” Clint asked you.
“You know Vee’s the one in control tonight, right?” You told the man blonde who merely raised a brow at you. “Yes I have my gun on me.”
“Don’t forget Anthony’s making lasagna tonight.” Thor reminded you, pressing a kiss on your cheek as he passed you.
“We’d never forget that.” You smiled. “Alright, we’re off. We’ll see you later.” You said, closing your eyes and letting Venom take over.
As Venom took over he turned to stare at Y/N’s, and technically his, soulmates.
“Everything alright, big guy?” Tony asked when Venom didn’t jump out the window like normal.
“Just wanted to tell you something.” He said, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “If anyone ever makes Y/N leak again, we will hurt you. We will hurt you in ways you never thought possible and we will not kill you. That would make Y/N leak more, but you will hurt than you ever thought possible. Understood?”
“Loud and clear, big guy.” Steve said as the rest of the team nodded.
“Good. We love you. Save us dinner.” Venom said before launching himself out the window.
You didn’t need to threaten them, Vee. Y/N chided the symbiote. Everything’s been worked out.
I know. Just wanted to remind them.
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