Aziraphale loved this time of year. The need for finding a new supplier, one he had never seen before, would never see again. The need to give Crowley the run-around in a convincing manner. The way he felt knowing this was a very, very bad idea but being unable to resist. The anticipation beforehand, the self-disgust afterwards along with promises he’d never, ever do this again. Sheer paranoia drove him out of London some years, afraid he’d meet someone who might remember him, however vaguely. A decade previously Crowley had become enormously suspicious, and had shadowed him everywhere for months. Aziraphale had bitten his fingernails to the quick during that time, and his manicurist had spoken to him very sharply indeed. He’d avoided a repeat performance the next year by taking the ferry to Dublin. Crowley hadn’t been able to go to Ireland since the embarrassing incident in the fifth century that neither of them referred to. After exhausting suppliers in Dublin, he hadn’t seen any particular reason why he shouldn’t go to Cork, and goodness, Galway was lovely at this time of year and why shouldn’t he spend a few days off by himself? After which he’d gone to check on things in Northern Ireland and had only gone home after he’d disgraced himself over the entire island. Currently, he was hiding beside a magazine display in a small newsagent on the Isle of Skye. He was rather proud of his disguise: well tailored black suit, black shirt, black tie, fancy black snakeskin shoes, and a pair of sunglasses Crowley had been missing for weeks, the poor thing. The moment was almost right. The only other customer paid for her bread and milk and left, and the shopkeeper shot him a rather sceptical look. Aziraphale took a deep breath, felt the reassuring roll of banknotes in his pocket, and slithered up to the counter in a creditable imitation of Crowley’s walk.
“I’ll take your entire stock of Cream Eggs,” he said breathlessly.
Crowley staggered up the stairs, waved his door open and crashed inside. He barely made it to the sofa, and collapsed full length. What had he been thinking? He wished he could die, but felt he might settle for a fortnight of completely undisturbed sleep until he felt better. Just before he passed out he made himself a promise: the next time he felt the urge to eat an entire sheep, he was damn well going to stay in snake form until it was digested.