This idea actually came to me while watching one of the aforementioned snake shows. I'm poking gentle fun here, no offence is meant as I genuinely adore those shows.
I'm American and if you're horribly offended by my Americanisms, I'm terribly sorry :P
Disclaimer: I don't own Aziraphale or Crowley. I suppose Zach the cameraman and Matt the Snake Charmer are mine.
It is a common belief that the serpent of the Garden of Eden was a python, or a boa constrictor, with thick, dark green scales and flashing eyes. The creature is thought to be long enough and strong enough to crush a man in two. This is incorrect. It is another belief that the snake was, perhaps, venomous. This is also incorrect.
A certain angel could assure that, no, the serpent in question was in fact a dark yellow and perhaps the length of his leg. And, as he could usually be seen with said angel, a certain demon could then give a sharp grin and agree that the snake was indeed not venomous, as some thought, although he did have a rather impressive hood.
A bird shouted and flew off in a beautiful streak of red, and Zach looked up and grinned.
"Say, d'you know what species—"
His companion put his finger to his lips, and stared at something off in the distance. Zach the cameraman gave an irritated sigh. They had just finished filming and had been heading back to the van but, as always, Matt had seen something. Matt was always seeing something, Zach thought with an internal groan and shifted his weight, trying to hold the stupid, heavy camera more comfortably. He watched Matt murmur quietly to himself and slowly stalk up to whatever he had seen, preparing to do his thing.
Matt Silver was the Snake Charmer, the star of one of those snake shows on Animal Planet. He was a bit touched in the head –it was part of the job description, really – but he was good at heart and really loved what he did. He'd managed to drag Zach, who was the only one mad enough to follow him, out here to some rainforest in the middle of nowhere to catch an extremely venomous snake.
While the forest was admittedly very pretty, it was somewhat nerve-wracking, what with all the snakes hanging around. Zach, while he would, and had, followed his co-worker and friend to the ends of the earth, privately thought that Matt was out of his friggin' mind. But there was nothing he could do about that. At least the pay was good, and never for one day in his life was he bored.
"Should I turn…?" Zach started, following his friend and shifting the camera again.
"Shh!" Matt hissed, and Zach sighed, hoisted the camera back onto his shoulder, and turned it on just in case. You never knew, with these things.
Matt approached a young tree and gently pulled out his snake stick. Zach didn't see it at first, but suddenly it was glaringly obvious; there was a yellow serpent asleep in the sunlight on a branch. The creature looked so peaceful he at first wanted to tell Matt to leave it alone, but then, upon examining the snake, he felt a flood of unease. This wasn't any snake he'd seen before.
Matt reached up with his snake stick, moving very slowly so not to startle the creature. Everything was very, very quiet.
The metal hook at the end of the stick crept closer. It prodded the snake, which made a sleepy sort of hissy sound and curled tighter around itself. The forest was silent.
And then Matt, with an admittedly great deal of skill, scooped the half-asleep creature onto the snake hook and levered it down. On the way, the thing woke up fully and gave a startled hiss, revealing nasty-looking fangs. Matt maneuvered it so, as it lunged, it fell off the stick and onto the ground with a thud.
The creature blinked, as if bewildered, and then stared at them.
Then it appeared to shake itself and spread a magnificent yellow hood, hissing angrily like a viper. But no vipers were indigenous to this area, Zach thought wonderingly, focusing on the creature.
"A new species," breathed Matt over the creature's irritated hisses, "I've never seen anything like this before. Are you getting this, Zach?"
"Yeah, yeah I got it!" Zach whispered back in wonder. It was not every cameraman who filmed a new species, after all. The snake flashed its hood.
Its hissing, on second thought, was not the most impressive Zach had heard. Really, it was a very little thing, and didn't seem all that intimidating. Then again, most little snakes were venomous, so Zach firmly told his mind to shut up and watch Matt do his job. But still…
The snake struck out at Matt's distracting hand. He pulled away and in a moment was holding the bewildered thing by the neck, hood pressed beneath his fingers. The creature's mouth was forced open by the way Matt held it.
The snake's eyes rolled one way, then the other, and it made a strangled noise that sounded remarkably like, "Ssshit."
There was a muffled sort of snicker. Zach blinked, and looked around, but didn't see anything. The snake writhed for a moment, trying to break free, then appeared to give up and went limp, mouth still opened. It struggled to close it, but the positioning of Matt's hand would not allow the movement. Zach snapped back to attention.
"Look at the color!" exclaimed Matt, "dark yellow, and such bright eyes, too! You," he told it, "are a beauty."
The snake made a strangled, irritated noise and shot Matt a look of what Zach could've sworn was loathing in response. Matt chuckled and turned to the camera.
"Look at this!" he breathed in his excited TV whisper, "Look at it! I've been known to be wrong, but I've never seen anything like it. I think – I believe it may be a new species!"
He ranted at the camera for a while before nodding at Zach to turn it off, which he did. The snake had finally managed to close its mouth, and was now glaring at the Snake Charmer as if to turn him to a pile of ashes. Zach thought for a moment that he saw a wisp of steam rising from Matt's ear, the one the snake was staring at, but then shook himself and the imagined smoke was gone. The snake gave what sounded like a sigh.
"We ought to take some measurements," Matt murmured, looking at the snake with a gooey expression. Zach rolled his eyes and the snake gave a frantic hiss.
They took pictures, which the creature enjoyed, oddly enough. It even appeared to pose.
They measured its length, at which point the snake looked annoyed, but tolerating.
Then they turned the snake onto its back to measure its belly scales and find a way to tell its gender. The snake hissed in surprise and made remarkable little snarling sounds as it struggled, as if it knew how undignified it looked.
Matt examined it and found no clear way to tell its gender, at which point the snake managed to look both horrified and humiliated, and Matt chortled and kissed its head. It responded with several angry hisses and a flashy twisting motion, but could not break free from the expert Snake Charmer. Matt cooed and the snake glared at him.
"It's got fangs," Matt said. "And it looks poisonous. We should milk it. Zach, get out the jars, will you?"
As Zach pulled out one of the plastic-film covered jars, Matt crooned at the snake some more. Holding it by the hooded neck with one hand, he took the jar from Zach and put it to the snake's mouth.
The snake stared at the jar, then looked at Matt, and then stared at the jar again. It had a look that said quite clearly, "You've got to be kidding me."
Then it looked at Matt again.
Matt waved the jar around, but the snake continued to stare at him as if he were an idiot.
He pushed it against the snake's nose, but the creature just gave the impression of raising an eyebrow, although it had none.
"C'mon," Matt crooned, and the snake glared at him.
He nudged the jar on its nose. The snake flicked its tongue.
Matt waved his finger around the jar in hopes that the snake would lunge. It didn't.
He pushed its nose with the jar again. The snake glared.
"For the love of God, bite the thing," he grumbled to himself, and the snake seemed to laugh at him. Daringly, he touched the snake's nose with his finger.
…and missed, as Matt had planned, and sunk its teeth into the jar. Zach applauded softly and the snake gave him a hate-filled look over the jar.
The snake looked left and right, mouth around the jar, and tried to pry itself loose. Matt held it there. It glared some more.
They waited longer. The snake started to look embarrassed.
Apparently, it wasn't venomous.
Matt pondered this aloud for a minute, and the snake gave him a look of loathing over the jar. He mumbled something about vipers, and that didn't make sense – it had fangs. The snake glared some more.
Matt let it unhook itself from the jar. It opened and closed its jaws for a while, as if trying to get a bad taste out of its mouth. Having done that, it tried to escape again, but Matt held on and crooned at it. It gave him a furious look.
Matt crooned at it again, then stopped his babbling and kissed it between the eyes and told it what a good boy – or girl — it had been. He then crouched and released it onto the ground, hurrying away.
There was a pause. The snake coiled on the ground, hissing. Really, Zach thought, it was not very threatening.
Then it turned and lashed, hissing furiously. Matt backed off, but it followed at an alarming speed. Zach stumbled away as the snake struck at him. Matt crooned but it only enraged the creature further and it advanced, hood spreading and hissing—
A man walked randomly from behind a tree and said, "Really, my dear."
Matt and Zach stared at him, and then at the snake, which had lowered its hood and was giving the man a scathing look. It flicked its tongue at him. The man turned to Zach and Matt and said, "You'd best be off."
And then they were.
"That," Crowley said once the people had vanished, "was the single most humiliating thing I've ever experienc—stop laughing!"
Aziraphale was leaning weakly against a tree, not making a sound. His face was pink, though, and his eyes were tearing as he covered his mouth with a shaking hand. He calmed for a moment, but then glanced at the snake and started up again. The yellow creature glared at him, and he gave a rather un-angelic snort.
"You are mentioning this to no one. And you owe me a dinner for this," Crowley muttered, "You should've let me bite them."
The angel wiped tears from his eyes. "You're not venomous."
"Yeah, well, it would've given them a scare! Waking me up out of a perfectly nice—"
"I do believe that the type of show that that young man films was one of your ideas, dear."
"No, actually I think it was one of yours. Wholesome education about nature? Tormenting snakes? Smells like your people to me. In fact, Aziraphale, it sounds rather like—"
"That's quite enough, my dear!"
"You so owe me for this," Crowley muttered.
The angel was trying not to laugh again. The once-serpent of Eden glared, curling up on himself. "What are you doing here, anyway?" he finally asked sullenly.
"Mm? Politics," was the response, choked on swallowed laughter. "And you? Why are you a snake?"
Crowley curled up tighter. "Got discorporated," he muttered into his scales, "it was the only body they had on such short notice."
Aziraphale looked concerned. "How?"
The demon glared at him. "Rental car," he muttered at length, "The Bentley was too 'conspicuous,' they said." He didn't say anything more, just gave the snake-equivalent of a scowl. Aziraphale figured it was better not to ask. (1)
There was a silence.
"Lunch?" the serpent finally asked hopefully.
"I doubt any restaurants would serve a snake."
"Watch them," Crowley muttered and lightning fast twined around the angel's leg and up his waist and finally around his neck, like a boa constrictor.
The angel sighed and turned to the head peering at him from his shoulder. "We're in a rainforest, Crowley."
"There's a town a little bit away from here. A real town, too, not one of those stupid little things. Got some good seafood. The wonders of Globalization, and all that."
"I like 'those stupid little things.'"
"Yeah, not when they serve you bugs…"
The angel sighed again and began to walk toward the direction that the demon gestured. The man-shaped being and the Serpent continued to argue about nothing in particular as they walked from the small, sunny clearing. It began to rain, as it was wont to do in a rainforest, and the demon blocked it from himself and the one carrying him without a second thought. They slowly made their way to the nearby village, Aziraphale parting the foliage, which closed softly in their wake.
(1) It turned out that was an embarrassing tale that included some misplaced petrol, a graham cracker, and a huge, rather unexpected, ball of flame