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 "That BLU Pyro, man. He… it wasn’t human."


Respawn of the Dead is a Team Fortress 2 fanfiction. Written by Big Name Fan Cat Bountry, it is a complex tale of relationships (both romantic and not), suspense, danger, conspiracy, a liberal dash of humor, and... oh, yeah. ZOMBIES.

Better Than It Sounds. MUCH better. Can be read here. And once you're done with that, read the prologue here.

MASSIVE spoilers ahead. Beware.

Respawn of the Dead provides examples of:


 “I’m sorry, Doktor.”

“Stop apologizing,” Medic said. “You are a proud man on ze battlefield, Heavy. You have confidence out zere. Try showing some off ze field for vonce, hmm?”

“Sorry,” Heavy mumbled.

“I said, ‘stop apologizing!’” Medic chided. “Really, it’s like you ah a completely different person vhen you have zat gun in your hand.”


 He looked so delicate as he slumbered, not at all like the fearsome, sadistic man he could be when he was awake.

  • Bedmate Reveal: In the Prequel, Medic is a lot happier going to sleep next to Heavy when he was drunk than he is waking up next to him hungover.
  • Berserk Button: Demoman doesn't take it well when he's told about Nessie not existing. Medic hates it when people use the zed word, and he hates being called a Nazi even more.
  • Beta Test Baddie: The New Announcer has an element of this; she's driven to blow herself up by Medic's "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how she's abandoned and powerless.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Heavy, especially if you mess with Medic.
    • Also Engineer — sure, Spy had it coming, but DAMN.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Scout and Demoman saving Sniper and Engineer from Spy, by suddenly running in and smacking him upside the head with a baseball bat.
    • An earlier example would be Heavy and Sniper saving Medic from a mentally unstable Soldier (and Shovel).
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: *sniff*
  • Bittersweet Ending: Only five of the main characters survive, and what's more, their deaths have been very convincingly faked so those who have families can't go home to them.
  • Blame Game: So whose fault is the zombie plague, anyway? BLU Medic created the virus in the first place, BUT Sniper missed a shot on the BLU Spy, who was infected, BUT Engineer never got around to fixing the hole in the fence said BLU Spy escaped through...
  • Blind Without'Em: Medic's eyesight is abysmal without his glasses, something Soldier takes full advantage of.
  • Blood From the Mouth: Medic, due to his injuries from his fight with Soldier. It's not much of a big deal, though.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma:

 “Are you doing[1] to… dark-mail me?” Heavy asked, obviously unsure of his choice of words.

  • Bridal Carry: Heavy tends to carry Medic like this when the latter is badly injured. It's just practical. And also quite sweet.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Heavy, in the Prequel, begs Medic not to tell anyone that he's basically just a big old teddy bear.
  • Burial At Sea: Pyro, rather ironically.
  • Bury Your Gays:Poor, poor Heavy...
  • Chekhov's Gun: Heavy getting stuck in the fence. Ha, ha, the fat guy's stuck in the fence... ...see if you're still laughing when it happens again later during a zombie attack and costs him his life.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The hole in the fence. Not only does the BLU Spy carrying the zombie virus escape through it, later on, the surviving members of RED Team do as well... except for Heavy, who gets stuck in it as he did earlier.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Pyro is a Star Trek fan. Near the end of the story when the RED Team was confronting the AI, the Pyro thinks 'What would Captain Kirk do?'. Cue him whispering to the Medic who then proceeds to throw out a Logic Bomb to fry the AI's circuits.
  • Cold War: The reason Soldier doesn't get along with Heavy. Or at least one of them; Soldier disapproves of homosexuality even more than Communism.
  • Compensating for Something: Subverted. Medic finds it humorously appropriate that Heavy doesn't even know what the phrase means. Because, you know... he's not.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Demo is one- he's one of the first to accept the zombies as such rather than grasping for a rational explanation.
  • Consulting Mister Puppet: Soldier and Shovel.
  • Covered with Scars: Pyro. Medic, of course, is not horrified, just intrigued.
  • Cower Power: Pyro makes use of this a few times. He seems to distinctly prefer hiding behind Medic.
  • Crashing Dreams: Sniper has an Erotic Dream involving Marilyn Monroe. She turns into Demoman when the latter comes to wake Sniper up.
  • Crazy Prepared: Spy has a RAFT. In the DESERT.
    • But he doesn't have a paddle, so he's not that prepared.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Medic and Heavy make plans to settle down together in Venice, which they've actually managed to do in "Reunion", although it's clearly set in a different continuity. Also, there's one major element in common with "With Apologies to Harlan Ellison". Also, the unanswered question of whether the RED and BLU teams are clones is also brought up in "Reunion". Like in "Surrogate", a Medic uses a rabbit as a test subject, and Heavy considers the rabbit very cute.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Most of the deaths, to some degree, but particularly Heavy's. If you try imagining it in any detail you'll probably lose sleep over it.
  • Cry Into Chest: The second time Medic cries in the Prequel.
  • Death Faked for You: All the surviving characters who have family.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Medic is this in the Prequel, but several of the team members, particularly Heavy, help draw him out of his shell. He still stays a little frosty, though.

 [...] it seemed as if Medic had returned to the cold, icy demeanor he was known for when he first joined RED team[...]

  • Depraved Bisexual: Spy, who notes that Americans "[deny] yourselves ze pleasures of bozh of ze sexes".
  • Despair Event Horizon: Medic falls headlong over it after the Team is forced to leave Heavy to his death. Engineer pulls him back.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Heavy, in the prequel. Well, it's not his fault that Medic didn't realize he was almost quoting Greta Garbo word-for-word, but...

 “Ah you suggesting zat I sound like a woman, Herr Heavy?”

“Nyet! You sound like a man!” Heavy was now fumbling to recover from this horrible implication. “Tiny, leetle man, but still man. And I am happy to be fighting vit you, Doktor!”


 “That does not happen to me, most of time.”

  • Dropped Glasses: It's really a good thing Medic keeps at least two spare pairs.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Soldier. He Rocket Jumps into the zombie horde, blowing most of them up in the process. He then shoots at the rest until he runs out of ammo, bludgeons a few to death with the still-hot shotgun, and beats the zombies with his own severed leg while they're ripping out his guts and eating them.
  • Dying as Yourself: Soldier. He has a sudden moment of clarity, thinking how beautiful the moon looks before the zombies finish him off.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Or bittersweet ending, at least.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: The sections from Heavy's perspective contain some rather sophisticated observations he probably just doesn't have sufficient English skills to actually say. There's a part in the Prequel where he wonders how he's going to have a particular discussion in English and wishes that Medic spoke Russian so they could communicate more easily.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Well, of course, but Medic only finds out Heavy's real name shortly before the latter dies.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: Subverted; the computer Administrator dies with an explosion described as "less than impressive".
  • Face Heel Turn: Spy, in a rather vicious manner. He never really WAS on their side.
  • Fan Disservice: A sex scene from the perspective of a quasi-sapient zombie who overhears it is even more disturbing than you'd expect.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Becoming a zombie, especially because, as demonstrated by Stumpy, zombies still retain memories of who they were. Also, because he'd just respawn if he killed him, Soldier tries to torture Medic rather than kill him.
  • Fingore: Soldier is just about to start cutting off Medic's fingers when Heavy has his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • First Blood: Go, Battle Medic!

 The doctor swiftly sidestepped away from the attack, and managed to land a punch to Soldiers jaw. Soldier reeled backwards, stumbling to a stop and wiping his lip, only to see a streak of red on his fingertips.

“FIRST BLOOD!” Scout screeched. “Doc got first blood!”

“Ha!” Sniper laughed, and turned to Demoman, “That’s five bucks up front ya owe me, mate.”

  • Freudian Excuse: Soldier's is mentioned in the Prequel. He seems to be in denial about it.
  • Friendly Sniper: Despite being something of a lone wolf, Sniper is generally laid-back and easygoing. And he loves his parents.
    • Well, his mom, at least.
  • Friendship Moment: Medic has a few with Engineer and Pyro.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: Medic's mother wanted him to be a professional violinist, but his father wanted him to be a doctor, like him. It's implied that Medic kind of wishes he had become a violinist, actually.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The Prequel is rather bittersweet due to this.
  • For Science!: said by RED Medic but the trope is actually fulfilled by BLU Medic, who attempts to re-create respawn technology for no reason other than curiosity.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Soldier once attacked the BLU base in the middle of the night while naked and armed with Shovel and the Sniper's knife. He got put on medication after that.
  • Funetik Aksent: All of the team members except Soldier and Pyro, once he removes his mask.
    • Deconstructed, as none of the accented team members can get through a voice-activated door. However, Pyro can (with his mask on).
  • Gentle Giant: Heavy... mostly.
  • Germanic Efficiency: In the Prequel, this trope seems to be the reason Soldier's comment about foreigners not respecting authority makes Medic snicker to himself, incidentally averting another trope about Germans.
  • Gilligan Cut: In the Prequel. Medic was only going to have one bottle of beer, which somehow turned into eight.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The government of the United States ends up nuking the hell out of the southwest.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Medic and Heavy have happy, loving, extremely loud sex. Unlike most examples of this trope, it's also clearly a bit kinky, and they do have their problems at first. Spy and Soldier are both the villainous side of this trope. Particularly Spy, who actually threatens to rape Sniper.
  • The Grotesque: Pyro was badly scarred and deformed by a fire, which is why he only takes off his mask and suit alone. He seems to have been this way since he was a child, which might explain his childlike demeanor. Typical of the trope, he has a very sweet and endearing personality.
  • Happy Birthday to You: Sniper has an Erotic Dream in which Marilyn Monroe was going to blow out his candle.
  • Hand Wave: How does BLU Spy make that hole in the fence? We don't know, he blacked out.
  • Headbutt of Love: During Heavy and Medic's last moments together.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Happens to Heavy twice. One time is played for laughs. The other...
  • Hemo-Erotic: The Prequel makes it clear that Medic likes biting, and the taste of blood, and playing with scalpels in bed...
  • Heroic BSOD: Medic, after Heavy dies.
    • Sniper has a small one when he realizes there's no convincing his parents that he isn't really dead.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Soldier. He even seems more concerned with Shovel's gender than its…you know…being a shovel. Scout is less of a crusader and more just rude and obnoxious.
  • Hold Me: In the Prequel; Medic is more than a little shaken by being caught knocking boots with Heavy by Scout, who is, after all, the chattiest member of the team, and therefore highly likely to blab and get them fired.
  • Hope Spot: After they blow up the BLU base.
  • I'll Tell You Vhen I Haff Had Enough!: Medic, to Engineer. Fortunately, he actually doesn't drink any more after that.
  • Image Song: Werner Von Braun could be said to be Soldier's- he sings it (and has Scout sing it) throughout the story for the purpose of antagonizing Medic. He also sings it as he goes to his certain death.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Medic is a screamer. So much so that he plays Beethoven and Mozart to try and cover it up (key word: try).
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Medic, in the Prequel, after drunkenly kissing Heavy, then vomiting on him. It's also described as "blubbering" and seems to be this trope when he cries after Heavy's death.
  • Informed Judaism: Pyro. VERY vaguely suggested in an exchange with Soldier, but officially revealed just before his death. Also, in the Prequel, Soldier remarks on the fact he's not having bacon with his breakfast.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: In the Prequel. Results in Heavy and Medic chasing after Scout in a very indecent state of dress, Medic with his wrists tied together.
  • In Vino Veritas: Medic gets very drunk in the Prequel, and becomes fixated on teasing Engineer for being short. Then he kisses Heavy.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Spy's response in the Prequel when Medic tells him he and Heavy are going to go play chess and he can mind his own business.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The Announcer has heard their petty gossip, and she's not interested.
  • It Got Worse: So, so VERY much, especially for Medic.
  • It Can Think: Stumpy and BLU Spy, to an extent. Maybe this makes zombification in this fic A Fate Worse Than Death?
  • It's the Only Way to Be Sure: First, the RED team blowing up the BLU base, then the United States government blowing up most of the southwest.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Heavy chooses to die so that his beloved Doktor can have a shot at escape and survival.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: In the Prequel, Medic insists that he didn't Übercharge Heavy to save him from being sniped because he cares about him or anything, it's just that it would have been a waste if he hadn't because he'd have been killed too without Heavy. Heavy is unconvinced.
  • Just Toying with Them: When Medic goes to find Soldier and Soldier attacks him. Medic is already weak from their previous fight, and Soldier breaks his glasses just to make it worse. Soldier lets him get away just so he can have fun catching him.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Medic and Heavy's first kiss. It doesn't go well.
  • Knight in Shining Armour: In the Prequel, Medic has a dream that casts Heavy in this role, complete with a Unicorn...
  • Last Kiss: Medic and Heavy share a tender, tearful kiss right before the rest of the team is forced to leave Heavy behind.
  • Last Stand: Soldier does this to allow the others to escape.
  • The Leader: Medic, at first, mainly because everyone is deeply impressed by his strategy for tackling the zombified BLUs. It doesn't hurt that it almost works without a hitch, too. But then he has a Heroic BSOD after Heavy dies, and the responsibility goes to Engineer. In the Prequel, Soldier clearly thinks he's the leader, but everyone else thinks he's a deranged windbag.
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: Engineer does this to Spy.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Goddamnit, Soldier!
  • Left Hanging: What was that about clones?
  • Licked by the Dog: Pyro hugging Medic in the Prequel.
  • Life or Limb Decision: Pyro. Except he dies anyway, because, you know. Zombies.
  • Logic Bomb: Used on the Admin AI to great effect by Medic, though it was Pyro's idea to try it.
  • Love Redeems: AVERTED. The fact that Spy's feelings for Engineer are probably genuine does little to make up for all the sheer wickedness he does.
  • Love You and Everybody: Medic suggests that the reason Pyro signs a letter to him with "Love, Pyro" is either that it's a strange joke or Pyro just doesn't know the socially acceptable way to write letters to your coworkers. However, it seems entirely possible that it's just because Pyro considers him to be a good friend.
  • Man Child: Pyro, although of course he's totally competent and professional when necessary.
  • Mercy Kill: Poor Medic has to do this twice — once to his 'pet zombie' Stumpy and, more wrenchingly, once to Pyro so he wouldn't become a zombie.
  • Mad Scientist: RED Medic. Also BLU Medic and his experiments to replicate the respawn technology.
  • Morality Pet: Medic and Pyro, particularly in the Prequel when Medic is a lot more cold and reserved.
  • Nakama: The RED Team, despite everything. Including losing almost half their number through the course of the story- three to various sacrifices, one to a cruel betrayal.
  • New Age Retro Hippie: In the epilogue, Demoman and Sniper almost score with two female versions of the trope.

 [...]a pair of lost flower children, abandoned by the fall of their own counter-culture.


 He could see the bone and muscles and tissue inside, and took delight in being able to see the man’s sinuses up close.

“Ye enjoyin’ yerself, lad?” Demoman asked, flashing a pearly white grin.

“Very much, danke,” Medic said, smiling.

“Ye know wot? Yer not so bad,” Demoman said.


 The man had taken him back to his room, had been puked upon for his trouble, stayed with him the night, and had even neatly folded the doctor’s clothes… and what was his thanks? A boot to the head.

  • No Medication for Me: Soldier is very resistant to being medicated for his severe psychosis.
  • Not So Different: A more positive version. They've probably got more weird international gay couples like Heavy and Medic than they've got the likes a' Demo, anyway. Also, Demo was initially a bit homophobic, but Medic was initially a bit racist.
    • Pyro feels a kinship with Stumpy because, in his opinion, they're both monsters.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Well, everyone eats breakfast together anyway. But Heavy is rather upset when Medic says it wouldn't do for him to be seen doing the walk of shame out of the infirmary in the morning.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Engineer's attitude to Medic and Heavy's relationship. He's so uncomfortable with it that he doesn't like Medic's habit of going to him for relationship advice, but he tries not to be offensive about it. Soldier and Scout seem to think there genuinely is something wrong with it. Demo is a bit repelled at first in the Prequel, but says that as a black Scottish cyclops, he tries not to judge others for being different.
  • Not Using the Z Word: Don't call them 'zombies' in front of Medic.
  • No, You: Medic bickers with Pyro about Star Trek in the Prequel.

 “It’s all ze same, as fah as I’m concerned,” Medic said dismissively. “It’s all mindless garbage, anyvay.”

“Yurr meerndlsssh gurrbuge,” Pyro retorted.

“Very funny,” Medic said, moving one of his pawns forward. “Vhere did you learn zat vone, on ze playground?”

  • Nuclear Option
  • Odd Couple: Medic and Heavy are referred to as this in the Prequel, by Engineer, who means it in the usual platonic sense although unbeknownst to him they actually are, you know, a couple.
  • Odd Friendship: Medic and Pyro clearly become friendlier over the course of the story, despite their differing personalities and Pyro's Judaism and the fact Medic may or may not have been a Nazi.
  • Official Couple: Medic and Heavy, who get together in the Prequel.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The virus or mutated gene which caused the outbreak can be transmitted from animal to human, and unusually for zombies, vice versa. "The cows, man...fuckin' zombie cows."
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Discussed.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Stumpy.
  • Pet the Dog: In the Prequel, even though Medic starts out being kind of an asshole to everybody else, he lets Pyro get away with fleeing his physical and going AWOL from their first battle due to throwing up. "Urr lurrt."
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Pyro is Jewish, and where he's not horribly scarred has olive skin and curly dark hair.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Spy and his masks.
  • Precision F-Strike: Medic doesn't always swear, but when he does, it's awesome.

 “Auf Wiedersehen, you bitch[.]”


 “Vhat kind of var has its fighters coming back from ze dead constantly? Honestly, I feel like I should be punching a time clock every time I go out zere.”

  • Raising the Steaks: "The cows, man...fuckin' zombie cows."
  • Redemption Equals Death: Soldier.
  • The Reveal: RED and BLU have merged, were planning on taking advantage of the zombie plague for profit, and had given Spy orders to kill his teammates for knowing too much. Oh, yes, and the human Administrator is dead and has been replaced by an AI. Damn.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: It's a good thing Engineer didn't fix the hole in the fence.
  • Right Through the Wall: The rest of the team likes to avoid the area when they hear loud classical music coming from the infirmary; it's Medic's attempt to be considerate about his screaming orgasms.
  • Rule of Cool: Discussed. Engineer thinks it's stupid.

 “Look, we made it this far without bein’ killed, an’ I’m not gonna risk my neck for th’ sake a’ lookin’ cool,” Engineer said sternly.


 Demoman: "‘Now cracks a noble ‘eart. Good night, sweet prince. An’ flights o’ angels sing thee to thy rest.’"

Sniper: "Dinnit’ know ya read Shakespeare, mate."

Demoman: "Ye never asked. Le’s go."

  • Sick and Wrong: In the Prequel, Demoman suggests to Sniper that maybe Heavy and Medic are "buggerin’ each other". They crack up laughing and Sniper gets pissed off at him for putting the mental image into his head and says not to even joke like that. Well... they hadn't gone quite that far yet.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Inverted. Pyro and Heavy, often characterized as the least intelligent members of the team, play a game of chess. Engineer is more of a checkers person, much to Medic's annoyance.
  • STD Immunity: Averted. Crotch crickets!
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Stupid pretty Medic.
  • Survival Horror: Well, of course. And running out of supplies, particularly ammo, is a major source of conflict.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: In the Prequel, Spy and Medic agree that American beer tastes like piss. So Medic doesn't know why he keeps drinking it, but he certainly does.
  • Team Dad: Engineer is a mix of this and Only Sane Man. And he's very disappointed in you for not botherin' to try an' break up the darn fight.
  • Team Mom: Medic gets annoyed when he feels like he's being expected to take this role. He's not your mom just because he patches up your booboos. Still, he doesn't seem to mind being this to Pyro.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Medic, in the Prequel, seconds away from being blown up by a rocket.

 “Zat’s just perfect.”

  • Those Two Guys: Sniper and Demoman
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Medic states that he was pressured into joining the Nazi party during the war.
  • Through His Stomach: In the Prequel, it turns out that Medic made the first sandvich.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Medic does this to Soldier, looking to hash out their differences once and for all. It wasn't the best idea on his part.
  • To the Pain: After Scout walks in on Medic and Heavy in the Prequel, Medic threatens to make him wish he was dead if he tells anyone.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Pyro's Star of David necklace seems to be one for him, and in a different way for Medic, who's wearing it in the epilogue.
  • The Unintelligible: Pyro. Try reading his dialogue aloud if you're having trouble.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The New Announcer, particularly. There's a bit of this with Spy, too.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Describing vomiting is kind of the equivalent of this trope in writing, isn't it?
  • What Does He See In Him?: In the Prequel, this is Spy's reaction to realizing that Heavy and Medic have become a couple. You can probably guess which one he thinks could have done better (where "better" really means "Spy").
  • We Need a Distraction: Done twice.
  • Who Shot JFK?: Sniper and Demoman both argue over this.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: After an entire town is destroyed by an outbreak of zombieism and the subsequent containment efforts...

 There was no news about zombies; only the escalating war in Vietnam, some Presidential election coverage, news of university campus protests and race riots.

  1. [sic], I have no idea whether it's a typo or his English is just going rapidly downhill
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