Fear the Zombie / by Ren Martinez

    I was devastated when he died.
    Not so much after the fifth or sixth time, but only because it was beginning to lose its novelty.
    “You realize that I’m also a Hero, right?” I reminded him once his corpse finally reanimated. He had laid there, bullet holes sprinkled through his chest, as I had corralled the arms dealers into a corner, dodging their bullets by blinking in and out of the air, before giving them a good dusting. They dropped into sleep as soon as the golden powder hit, and then all I had to do was teleport them to the police station. Once back to the alley, I glared at my partner in justice, just barely awake and black eyes blinking open.
    “Seriously,” I scowled, “your inhuman strength is a lot more helpful when you’re actually alive to use it.”
    Elliott lifted his head from the blood spatter on the ground, groaning dramatically (everything he did was dramatic). “A thank you would suffice, you know.”
    “I’m not going to thank you for being a dingus.”
    He stood, brushing off alley way dirt from his dark jeans and now bloody t-shirt. At least he had the common sense to stick with breathable fabrics rather than some of our other Hero counterparts, who thought leather pants and spandex were reasonable choices. I couldn’t even imagine the chafing that would occur; being a Hero was a sweaty business.
    “Come on, don’t get your pixie panties in a twist, Sam.”
    “I’m not a freaking pixie; the name is Fae for a reason. And, you’re the one who digs lacy underoos anyway.”
    He grinned at me, the latex mask stretched across sharp cheekbones. “Guilty as charged. Can’t save a city without having a secret.”
    “I don’t think they mean Victoria’s Secret, El.”
    “Close enough.”
    Sighing, I slipped my arm in his. “Come on, Zombie. I think we’ve fought enough crime tonight.”
    The City was still in the grips of sleep; night wouldn’t be sloughed off in favor of the dawn for several more hours. However, we could always find a Denny’s open after a hard night of heroics, and Elliot could pack away quite a few pancakes for someone who technically didn’t need to eat. I was happy enough with a veggie omelet and coffee with cream. Mostly cream. Almost entirely cream.
    “Still not a pixie,” I grumbled.
    He smiled at me with a mouth full of pancakes, which was both disgusting and endearing.
    We got back to our apartment just as the sky was melting into midnight blue. Luckily, as Heroes, we were employed by the City and didn’t need to finance our crime-fighting escapades with jobs as reporters or baristas or something equally ridiculous. Instead, we could use our abilities for the good of the people and get paid to do so. Plus, it came with amazing health benefits.
    When I woke up, El was tucked against my shoulder, breathing gently across my collarbone, his chest silent against my own. (I was asked him about that after a particularly vigorous sex session, when he was collapsed next to me panting. He had given me a look as fond as it was mocking just before kissing me silent, and I decided that it was a silly question in the first place).
    “It’s too early to be thinking,” he groaned, burrowing further against me.
    “I’m not thinking.”
    “You’re always thinking.”
    “You should try it some time.”
    Snorting, he pressed a kiss against my throat. “Nah, you got that covered.”
    The City was fully awake, the sounds of its citizens muted outside the apartment window. Sun was streaming through the windows, and maybe El was right.
    “Maybe you’re right,” I murmured.
    “I’m always right, Sam.”
    Smiling, I snuggled closer, giving my partner (in all things) the last word.
    Outside, the City was safe and its Heroes slept on.


Ren Martinez is an author, actor, superhero, and future companion to the Doctor. She is a regular contributor for Quail Bell Magazine and presently lives in Denver with a cat who thinks she's a princess. You can follow her on Twitter, see lots of cat pictures on her Instagram, or read her terrible poetry on Tumblr