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"Why do I feel like I am behaving bitchier than usual?" – John Bukharin's thoughts while slowly growing a closer bond with the Venom Symbiote

Omake 22: Always Looked Weird in Black

It was a lovely day at the park and I was spending sometime on my own, away from Sienna and the kids to try and recover a bit of energies as the kids really didn't stop being extroverted despite growing up. The fact Dami was there too meant I had another child to keep track of while Sienna was busy with the others. It was a tiresome job, but it was still nice compared to usual stuff and I definitely enjoyed the time off from work to spend it with the family. It was idea, and very refreshing from time to time, especially with Cinder and Emerald back after so long.

Things were doing just fine and I had no regret whatsoever of this situation… until something bizarre happened as I decided to sit down by the bench just in front of the field the others were playing by. Nothing dangerous or driven by known threat, but definitely perplexing and incredibly concerning after looking back at it after just a few hours since it happened. I was busy looking around, glancing at the passing families and-

"So, I've heard that your name is John Bukharin, right?"

The voice felt familiar yet… not. I frowned as I found that someone had indeed sat down beside me. A man roughly my height, he was wearing a trucker hat that didn't hide his dark brown hair, sunglasses that blocked me from seeing his eyes and he was wearing quite the 'farmer-like outfit'. A red squares half-sleeved shirt underneath the overalls and black boots. He was reading a newspaper, his eyes were narrowed at some specific spots about… a discount on cookies?

"Yes?" I replied with a hint of surprise, unsure who this guy was and… why I felt nervous about being around him. An agent from Salem?


[He really looks familiar. I think I've seen him too somewhere before.]

"John," He mumbled, almost like he was pondering about it. "Is it true that you came from the mystical land beyond Remnant? Some big places?"

"Yes. But-"

"I've heard people likes to brag about their country. How about you brag about yours?"

… "What?"

"You know... Bragging, the art of throwing in only compliments and qualities regarding someone or something," The unknown man described. "Something that is generally done to bring the highness of home back into Remnant."

"Why would I want to do that?" I argued with an even more confused tone.

"Well, considering your hometown's team uses pink and black as their main theme, I would have imagined some high defense of such awkward element," The stranger remarked with a distracted tone. "You know like 'but we also had Kings and Emperors, we saw many cultures settling within the city and shaping a multi-cultural tradition that many cities aren't blessed to have within their histories' or something like that. You know, that's the point of bragging."

While at first I was genuinely confused about this speech, the more he spoke, the more I realized something. The information he was bringing up shouldn't have been easily available to anyone but me and… anyone coming from back the same hometown I came from. I was shocked by the possibility that there were other like me, so I quickly blurted out the first of many good questions for that eventuality.

"Who are you?"

"I've been labeled many things, but I believe the term 'Choco-fiend' or 'Cookie-monster' fits better considering my main diet," The guy replied flatly. "But you can call me the Man in Black."

… "That's so cheesy," I pointed out and he whined a bit.

"I know right? I thought it was cool in my head and now it's just pure cringe. I guess that's what happens when you're administering so many things at once.. By the way, lovely family and I have to go before my wranglers understand I'm skipping my work. Again. I'm not exactly as 'calm' for work as you are. Not anymore at least."

"W-Wait," I muttered while taking hold of his arm and… I felt something off when I failed to take hold of it. It's like my palm slipped and failed to gain a grip over his wrist. A quick glance revealed that the limb had 'divided' from the body and had reformed through morphing in a black goo.


[This is also familiar.]

With all due respect, we never saw anything like this before now.

[You didn't. But I… I think John did.]

Did I?

I was baffled by the sight and just couldn't imagine what this could have come from. I tried to stop him again, but I paused as I noticed that Sienna was coming up and bringing Dami in her arms. Nora was still playing with Cinder and Emerald, clearly enjoying this time with her siblings after so long, so they hadn't noticed what had just happened and I remained the only witness of that bizarre encounter.

"Is everything alright?" The Tiger Faunus asked, surprised by my pale face while looking to the side… where the mysterious man had left without saying any other words. It was confusing but… I could tell this wasn't going to be the first time I ended up meeting him. Something just told me… he was going to come back eventually.

"Nothing really important. Just… imagined seeing an old friend," I merely muttered, my words hardly convincing Sienna, but the lack of trouble through the whole afternoon and evening further added legitimacy to my words.

I still thought about it and I realized that the more I studied that, the more I analyzed his way of talking and his frame… the guy. It wasn't just a mere 'insertion' or 'invader'. It felt too familiar for being just that. There was something more to it and I knew his words were hiding away the truth of his real identity and why he came by so suddenly. Maybe I was looking to much into it but… yeah, this was going to come back to me eventually.

I sure knew that something about his crappy sense of humor just made sense to me. Somehow.


MC receives a visit to Venom!MC. The shock is immense!