For Tam Nguyen, the adoration paid to his pet snake had been a joke at first. Just some heckling from a troll or two in his chat for showing off his Eastern Hognose while streaming. Eventually, however, Blueth–short for Bluetooth–became his mascot as people did fan art of the teal and black adder. People would subscribe so that they did not miss snake time.
Then, the fascination turned into a meme.
Blueth went viral after he bit the camera one day when Neil had a DKC2 run end--in a particularly tilting fashion. ‘Snakebiting It’ caught on in the speedrunning community, and even GDQ had a segment where people had sent in their best Snakebite moments to create a montage of spectacular fails to kick off the week-long broadcast.
It was after that surge in popularity that Tam started to realize something was happening. Blueth was getting noticeably heavier by the day. He was young and still growing sure, but Hognoses usually topped out around thirty inches, and his adder was at least that long after only fourteen months since hatching.
Nearly four feet long now, he hung around Tam’s neck during streams. As he did, his flat head followed the characters on screen with an uncanny level of awareness. When Blueth started his quarterly shed, Tam had a thought to do a stream that lasted as long as it took the adder to slip free from his older, smaller skin.
Setting Blueth up in a tank with some sand as well as pumice and other rough stones, Tam made sure his buddy was on screen as things kicked off. Cruising through a couple of races of DKC2, Tam was playing the best he ever had. Each run beat the last. People were cheering him and Blueth on.
No one seemed to notice that Blueth was visibly growing. With every hundred new viewers on the stream, his form pulsed larger, but wider as well. Beneath his flattened neck, a humanoid upper body began to take shape. Voices of adoration vibrated his bones. The strength of the audience’s focus warmed his muscles. Their thoughts were soft strokes along his scales. The growing snake wanted more people to pay attention to him–almost as much as he wanted a fresh toad.
A quarter of the way into the fourth race, it became apparent that Tam was on track to beat the world record. The closer he got to rescuing Kong, the faster his numbers went up. The quicker his numbers went up, the more Blueth swelled towards man-sized. He passed three thousand watching as he entered the home stretch–and that seemed to be enough for whatever was affecting Blueth to get going in earnest. The snake’s enlarging transformation was impossible to miss now, and the chat was going nuts about watching him become a beefy Naga.
Tam, however, was so in the zone he was only aware of the pattern needed to beat the game. With a deft slip through the last boss cycle with a couple of invincibility frames, he landed the final hit and called time–a full five seconds faster than the record.
When he turned around to get a drink, he screamed. Leaning against the doorway was a snake man built like a brick house which had eaten another brick house. His coils, which were thigh-high in comparison to Tam, vanished off to one side but, the real visual feast was Blueth’s new humanoid torso. It alone had to be four feet of scales, muscles, and sinew before his tail even came into the equation. The relaxed way he was leaning back into the crosspiece emphasized how thick his shoulder muscles were
“Oh, come on,” Blueth hissed after a long swig from one of Tam’s Sapporo cans. “If I were going to attack you, I’d have done it by now. This stuff is pretty good, by the way. Good choice, lord priest.”
“Me. God. You. Priest. This. Good.”
Tam tilted his head, his confusion obvious.
Blueth sighed and began to slither over. His scales seemed to sing against the hardwood flooring. “Look, Tam, you’ve done me a great service by restoring me to my true form, and I want to ensure you receive every possible reward for that.” He offered a hand which could easily crush Tam’s head like an egg. “What do you say? Partners?”
After that, Blueth x Tam fics started showing up all over, but that is a story for another time…