PART VI. IN WHICH THE TRUTH COMES OUT
Of all the times Izuku had to speak in public, this had to be one of the most nerve-wracking. He saw Kacchan at the end of the table, his eyes closed, and his heart thumped anxiously against his chest.
Then again, sometimes the truth just wasn’t that easy.
From beside him, Shouto gave him a nod of support, and he breathed in.
“Shouto-kun and I are not really engaged.”
There was a stunned silence across the table; at the end, Kacchan’s eyes flew open. Izuku gave All Might and Yaoyorozu a panicked look.
“Did you mean that you and Todoroki had broken up?” Uraraka tried, bless her.
Izuku tried to give her a smile, “No… “ he swallowed. “It means that we were never engaged to begin with.”
And that’s when the volume of voices suddenly rose across the table. At the end, Izuku could see Kacchan clenching his fists, his eyes not meeting theirs. Izuku felt dread rise upon him like a wave.
“What does that even mean?” someone asked. “Were you two even dating?”
“I knew Todoroki couldn’t have been that smooth."
“Was the whole thing fake?”
Izuku forced himself to pay attention, and he shook his head, “No. Not all of it was. I did know Shouto-kun from when we worked together that month.” He turned to Shouto, who nodded in confirmation to his classmates. “But I’d never had the chance to meet him in person until that night on the train, when he had his accident and I just… jumped in after him.”
“So… that part was true?” Kirishima asked, still looking confused. “Then how did the rest of it happen?”
Izuku took a deep breath, “Well, I’d gone to check on Shouto-kun in the hospital afterwards, but they wouldn’t let me visit him because I wasn’t family. But then, this well-meaning nurse misinterpreted something I said and thought that I was engaged to Shouto-kun… so when she gave me the chance to visit him, I went without question.”
Izuku shook his head at the memory, “I was just as shocked as everyone when the nurse announced that I was Shouto-kun’s fiancé. I was still trying to understand what was going on, but then Endeavor arrived, and he wanted to take Shouto away and that just—changed everything. I knew, based what Shouto had told me before, that I had to do something.”
He gave a small laugh, “I guess that was the one good thing that came out of that mistake. For a second, everyone else believed it enough to prevent Endeavor from taking over."
He looked up at them again, “I swear though, that I planned to tell the truth as soon as possible. I’d planned to tell you all on the night of Uraraka-san’s birthday party." He looked at Momo, who gave him an encouraging smile.
"But then Momo convinced me to try to keep the ruse up longer so that we could continue to keep Shouto-kun safe from his father’s interference—at least until he wakes up. And somehow, it just made sense. It wasn't even a question.”
He smiled back at Momo. Next to her, All Might gave him a thumbs up of support.
“So I agreed, and we decided to keep the truth to as few people possible to avoid implicating anyone else in case the worst happens. Only she and All Might knew the truth, and I thought it seemed straightforward at the time.”
That’s when he gave everyone in the table an apologetic look. Kacchan still refused to look at him, and Izuku took a deep breath, “Of course, it soon became clear that it wasn’t so straightforward.”
“Why not?” Ashido kept her fingers close to her mouth, considering.
Because I fell in love. Izuku was still reeling from that revelation; still raw to its power on him.
“What?” someone—Kaminari exclaimed, and Izuku snapped out of his daze. Had he mumbled that out loud?
“I meant that, well… I met all of you, and then it wasn’t so straightforward anymore. I thought I could get away with just showing up at the hospital and nothing more. I'm used to doing that - to recognizing my limits, and stepping back at the right time.” He bit his lip.
“But I…I loved being with you guys so much that it became just as easy to keep coming back.”
“I’ve already told Shouto-kun this, but he really has such amazing friends, and he is so lucky.” He offered Shouto a smile, before looking back to everyone.
“I loved spending time with you, and it became harder to step back and separate myself,” Izuku let out a deep breath, because this he had to explain. “Even though I knew at the back of my head that it was all based on a lie.”
“But—you knew so much.” Kirishima rationalized.
“So… much.” Jirou muttered, placing her face in her hands.
“And it seemed so real sometimes,” Uraraka added, mystified.
Izuku gave them a sheepish grin. The less said about Shouto’s situation with his butt at the time, the better.
“Well, I did know Shouto-kun based on our time working together, and I am an Intelligence Analyst. I didn’t even need to lie for the most part, because all of the things that I did know happened to be true... or close enough to it at least. And maybe it was sheer dumb luck that Shouto-kun actually listened to me back then, half of the time…like when he got his cat.”
Shouto returned his fond look with a small smile.
“But the truth is, I was never engaged to Shouto-kun. In fact, I only just met Shouto-kun for the first time, face-to-face, when he woke up from his coma.” His voice caught at those last words.
“And now that Shouto-kun is awake, we thought it was only fair to tell all of you the truth.” Izuku clasped his fingers nervously. “I also wanted all of you to have Shouto-kun to yourselves, without the problem of his so-called amnesia or a fake forgotten fiancé hanging over your heads.”
Izuku lowered his head. “Most of all, I wanted to stop lying to all of you."
He placed his arms around himself. "I know it’s probably because you thought I was Shouto-kun’s fiancé, but you were really kind to me, even though you didn’t really need to.”
He looked up at them, “You danced with me,” he looked at Ashido, “we ate junk food and colored each other’s faces,” his eyes went to Uraraka, Hagakure and Asui, “and you went into battle with me.” Here he nodded at Kirishima and Iida. “You made me feel like I could be better than what I thought I was.”
I felt loved by you.
From the end of the table, Kacchan still refused to look back at him, and Izuku felt his throat go dry.
I was meant to be in love with Shouto. I fell in love with you instead.
“And I wanted to thank you.” He continued, his voice catching. “And apologize, for keeping this from you until now. You… you really have been wonderful to me this whole time, and I loved getting to know you.”
He was shocked to find a hand over his; Shouto’s. He didn’t realize that he’d started shaking.
“Oh Deku-kun!” Uraraka stood up, actually running over to give him a hug. “We were lucky to meet you too.”
Deku felt tears clogging up his throat when Iida stood up as well to go to him. “Midoriya-kun – you’ve truly been brave and selfless.”
“And you’re a badass!”
And yet, as the others approached, Izuku kept an eye out for the one he needed to talk to the most.
Later, he would wonder at what he expected: perhaps, for Kacchan to be as explosive as he ever was, as confrontational as he had been when he first started questioning Izuku – to be justifiably self-righteous for being correct this whole time, or to even demand to fight to get it out of their systems.
Now, he could only watch, helpless, as Kacchan stood without a word, his fists clenched tight, and walked away. He didn’t look back.
Izuku felt his heart drop.
That was how Kacchan walked out of his life: silently, quickly, without a fuss or a bang. It took all of a second, and he was gone.
Later, when Izuku’s tears were masked by his joy at the open acceptance and forgiveness from all of Shouto-kun’s other friends, Asui asked, “What are you both going to do now then, now that you’re no longer engaged?”
Despite the growing numbness from the realization that his own heart was breaking, Izuku rose above himself to look back at Shouto-kun.
“The only thing that anyone can do in situations like these.” Shouto answered, watching him carefully.
Izuku nodded through his tears, and tried to smile.
“We start over.”
Outside, Katsuki placed a palm against his eyes as he tried to take deep breaths.
“Damn it.” He rasped out, choking on his own voice.
It was all a lie.
He was all at sea after everything he’d seen and done and felt, so much that he couldn’t even breathe. The feeling in his chest, still newfound and tender, now felt raw with an ache that racked his whole being. Somewhere beyond the roaring in his ears, he realized that couldn’t even comprehend what was happening. He didn’t even know where to begin.
What was the truth then? He found himself wanting to scream the question, like a stupid child; demanding an answer he wasn’t sure that he was ready for.
Part of him felt like running for the hills and never looking back.
Was this what falling apart felt like?
“Fucking hell.” He swore as tears fell behind his palms.
“How did it go?”
“It’s done. I did it. I’ve said the truth, and I should be happy with that.” Izuku felt his lips tremble as he leaned back on the door, and ignored the fresh fall of tears down his face.
“I did it, and he wouldn’t even look at me. He won’t pick up my calls and it’s over. I’ve said the truth and I should be happy, because now I know.”
He hates me now.
Shinso and Mei broke out the Breakup Recovery Kit the following night.
They ended up coloring Shinso’s hair Aizawa-black, and Mei ended up with a belly-button piercing, which should have given Izuku some vindication because he was the only one who went through with it last time.
Izuku ended up finishing all the ice cream and the ghost pepper dip, even though that reminded him of Kacchan and made him cry more.
Sat, 19 Jan, 16:59
I tried to call again today, and you’re still not picking up
There is so much more that I wish I can say to you
I’m really that sorry I lied to you
Shinso broke out his karaoke mic the next evening despite Deku’s reluctance, and they ended up belting the worst breakup songs.
“Turn around, bright eyes…” Mei crooned.
Izuku’s tears actually helped him sing better for once. “Every now and then I fall apart!”
The two of them started belting out together, “And I need you now tonight, and I need you more than ever! And if you only hold me tight, we’ll be holding on forever! And we'll only be making it right, cause we'll never be wrong…”
From behind them, Kaminari could do nothing but gape as they started yelling to the rising beat of the drum and the clash of cymbals.
Shinso shook his head at him, even as his fingers rubbed circles at the back of Kaminari’s neck. “Not a word.”
Kaminari smiled weakly and patted Shinso reassuringly. The latter quirked a grin at him, before letting go and standing to join the scream-fest with his friends
“I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark, we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks… I really need you tonight! Forever's gonna start tonight… forever’s gonna start tonight.”
Shinso and Mei let Deku husk out the last line.
“Once upon a time I was falling in love, but now I'm only falling apart…”
And there's nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart.
After the music died down, Kaminari went for it and clapped.
“Can I suggest…” he tried hesitantly, a bit shocked to find two pairs of narrowed eyes and a wide weepy one suddenly focused on him, “…that we try this song from that old film, Pretty Woman?"
Despite the continuing silence, he went on, "It goes like this,” he hums awkwardly, “It must have been love, but it’s over now.”
At Shinso’s raised brow, he finally admitted, “…Someone played it to me once after a breakup, and the song destroyed me.”
There was another beat of silence before Izuku groaned, still pitiful. “I actually know that one...”
Mei perked up instantly and slapped Izuku’s slumped form at the back, “Then let’s do it! Will that help, Izu?”
Shinso’s judgmental look turned into an approving smirk, and he handed the mic to Kaminari.
”Come on then, Pretty Woman. Show us what you’ve got.”
Unfortunately, there was nothing to break into Kacchan’s flat for (and no, his superbike didn’t count, Shinso-kun). He hadn’t been back in Izuku’s life long enough to actually have anything of Izuku's mixed with his.
It was almost like Kacchan hadn’t been there at all, save for the exam form that Kacchan had given him and the deep pervading ache in Izuku’s chest.
Mon, 21 Jan, 22:17
I had reasons for why I did it. I didn't mean to hurt you
And I know I can’t force you to talk to me or forgive me
But part of me wishes that you’d just get angry, yell at me, or anything
Anything but this silence
At least then I would know
Izuku went to visit Shindo in Hosu as soon as he got the chance. If what he’d felt after their breakup was anything like this, then Izuku couldn’t bear to let things go unanswered for a single second longer.
It no longer mattered that he didn’t feel ready. They both deserved to have that closure.
“I wish you had told me,” Shindo said after a long moment of silence. “If not for the sake of our relationship, then at least because you were so unhappy, and I never realized.”
Izuku shook his head, “I… It’s not that I knew I was unhappy, Yo-kun. In fact, I kept telling myself that I couldn’t want more than this... that I was lucky enough with what we had.” He clasped his hands together. “Like you said before, it was better for me to be safe and content… to not ask for more when I was quirkless, and things were hard enough.”
Shindo gave him a pained look, “Until you got your provisional license on your own.”
Izuku slowly nodded, feeling familiar tears burn behind his eyes. “I didn’t know that I could be happy in that way – I never let myself believe it. That yes, I am quirkless, but maybe… just maybe, I also could be a little bit more.” He closed his eyes.
“And suddenly everything was—changed, because I knew that there was just no going back from that. And it was devastating, Yo-kun, because it meant that nothing else from before was ever going to be enough, including us."
He looked at his hands. "It meant that maybe... maybe I’d been hurting this entire time but pretending that it didn't matter, just so that I wouldn't be wrong for you… that maybe I was angry at myself, and you too, rightly or wrongly... and I didn’t know how deal with all that and face you at the same time.” He shook his head again.
“And I am really sorry, Yo-kun. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you myself - that it had to be my friends that told you it was over,” his breath hitched, “I’m sorry that I ended up leaving, without giving you an explanation. I felt like you deserved an answer that made sense, but I was in no state to give you one... and I wish I hadn't hurt you and made you wait because of that.”
Shindo placed a hand over his eyes and took a deep breath. When he looked back up at him, it was to quirk a melancholy smile.
“We both know that I should also be apologizing here.” He tried again, “I never meant to make you feel that way, Izuku. It was never my intention to make you believe that you weren’t enough - for myself or for the world out there.”
Izuku opened his eyes and stopped pretending that they both weren't crying.
“It wasn’t just your fault, Yo-kun. If there's anything I've learnt over the past few weeks, it's that, more than waiting for validation from other people, I should have been the one who was more honest and accepting of myself. That's something that I'm still trying to fix. And I hope that you can forgive me too for not being brave enough, back then.”
Shindo stood up and faced the window, quiet and contemplating. And it took a while, but there was a smile on his face when he finally turned around to wink at him. “Well then, I won’t be satisfied until I hear that you’ve become a Pro Hero. Tell me you’re planning to do something about that final exam then. Do you need any help with the test? Have you shaken any trees? Heard anything useful?”
The answering smile that Izuku gave him was small but genuine, the first one they shared in a long time.
"Yeah." He nodded as he wiped his tears. "Yes, I actually have."
Wed, 23 Jan, 15:02
I’ve decided I'm going to wait for you, no matter how long it takes
And I'm going to say it everyday
Blind Item – Has Dual Hero Found Other Half?
This Enigmatic and Popular Dual Hero is supposed to be recovering from a recent injury, but he has been found spending time at a well-known Support Engineer’s workshop.
It is rumored that he is finally trying out the other half of his famous two-sided quirk, which has not been seen since his school days. Don’t be too shocked to find a modification to this Hero’s costume in the future.
This Hero is normally good at laying low from the public eye, but he was spotted stepping out of the workshop to offer a drink to a mysterious green-haired companion. Said companion was looking quite melancholy, standing outside and staring off like a leading man in a period drama, before Mr Enigmatic came outside and drew a smile out of him.
Could this famous Hero have found his other half, both literally and figuratively?
Thu, 24 Jan, 18:02
I was testing some gear with Shouto-kun today
He’s a lot more civilized than us
He doesn’t yell or do that growly laugh like you do when we get things to explode
I can’t help wishing that you were here too
I know I said that I'm going to wait for you, however long you need
but I do miss you
Izuku had just arrived back from a second day of testing with Shouto when there was a knock on his door.
His heart stopped.
It had been a week, and aside from Shouto-kun, who he spoke to everyday, he didn’t get to communicate as much with the others: he’d seen Kaminari with Shinso, exchanged some texts with Kirishima and Iida, and had a phone call each with Uraraka and Momo. There was still no word from Kacchan.
Izuku tried not to be hopeful.
He opened the door and his eyes widened at the twin broad smiles that greeted him.
“All Might? And is that…” he choked as his fanboy nerves reactivated, “Pro Hero Lemillion?”
Izuku tried not to hyperventilate. He had tried to get in touch with All Might recently via email and had left a few voice messages, but he hadn’t disclosed a lot of detail, and he certainly hadn’t expected him to actually show up on his doorstep. "What are you doing here?"
Against all reason, All Might’s grin seemed to gleam even brighter.
“You mentioned that you needed help with the Professional Hero Licensing Exam?”
Fri, 25 Jan, 21:05
All Might and Lemillion came by today. We're going to I-island for the next few weeks
I've been trying to ask All Might for some advice for the Licensing Exam next month, but for some reason he decided to actually come and help train me up instead!
The first person I wanted to tell was you
I’m going to do it, Kacchan. It’s finally happening. I won’t back out this time
I'd say sorry everyday, if it means I could thank you for this, too
Sat 26 Jan, 02:04
I'm leaving today, and I won't get the chance to message you over the coming days
But I just wanted to get this out now before anything else:
You kept telling me that you're still trying to be a better hero and a better person, and I could see why
I have always looked up to you, but you weren’t very good to me at first
You kept questioning me. You insulted me and embarrassed me. You also criticized me, and you made me feel like I always had to prove myself
But then you also welcomed me and laughed with me. You didn’t let up on me, but you also treated me like an equal
You also made me feel strong despite my weaknesses
You make me feel proud when people kept telling me to hide
You made me realize for myself that I was good enough
I’ve only just seen a glimpse of what you can do over those weeks, but I already consider myself the luckiest person in the world
Because although you may think that you still need to be better - you’ve already been a better person to me than you realize
To me, you've been a Hero
I know that you might not be ready to forgive me yet, and that you might think that it was all a lie, but please believe me when I say that this is true:
I’m not scared of failing, when I think of you, Kacchan
When I remember you, I feel brave enough to be myself
Whatever happens now, all I have to do is think of you - and I know: I am happy
You mean a lot more to me than you realize, Kacchan
And I hope that you’ll forgive me one day
“So this is where you’ve been hiding off to.”
Katsuki stilled at the sudden presence behind him. It was strange to hear Todoroki’s voice after everything that had happened.
“Our friends only thought to check your place, but I knew I’d find you at your garage space.”
Katsuki only shrugged as he continued to clean his bike. “Should never have given you a copy of all my keys that time.”
Todoroki walked into his sight, and it was still jarring to see him like this: in casual wear, a navy button up and white jeans, almost as if he had never been in an accident. The loss of weight was still noticeable, however – and so was the cup of bubble tea in his hand. Seriously?
Katsuki recalled how Deku always bought those from that stall outside of Hatsume’s workshop and inhaled them like they were nothing – it was an unexpected shock to see such a telling reminder of him on Todoroki’s person now.
“It’s not really an abuse of power when everyone’s been worried about you, and I’ve volunteered to check up on you. How have you been? I haven’t seen you much since I woke up.”
Katsuki scowled and refused to look at the Half-and-Half hypocrite. “Yeah? Well I’ve been busy. Besides, a few weeks is nothing compared to the disappearing acts you used to pull on us.”
There were a few seconds of silence from Todoroki, before he shook his head, “I really am sorry about that. Izuku says I should try to be better about that.”
Katsuki tried to swallow around the lump in his throat at the name. Again, him. “I know.”
There was another beat of silence as Todoroki stepped closer.
“He’s gone to America and I-Island for the next three weeks with All Might and Mirio. Did you know that?”
Katsuki only clenched his jaw as he moved and switched sides on the motorbike. Of course I do; I was the one who spoke to All Might about it a few weeks ago after all. He’d felt like the old man needed to do his part to make it up to Deku as well.
“He’ll be out of reach over the coming days, but I spoke to him when he landed. We’ve been talking every day.”
Good for you. Katsuki thought savagely as he grabbed another piece of cloth, silencing the part of his mind that remembered Deku’s unanswered texts.
“You know he only did it to keep me safe. If you’re going to be mad, you might as well be angry with me as well.”
That finally got Katsuki pissed off enough to finally face the bastard, “What makes you think I’m not angry with you either? You only get a free pass because you just came out of a fucking coma.”
“What is it that you’re mad about, exactly?” Todoroki’s tone was no-nonsense as usual. “If I try to put myself in your position, I can’t imagine being this angry with someone who lied to protect you.”
Katsuki bristled despite himself, as if the IcyHot idiot knew what he was talking about. “Idiot, it’s not the same. It’s not just that he lied, it’s because it’s him—”
It was Deku.
“Fuck,” he muttered under his breath as he tossed the rag he was using in exchange for another one.
Todoroki, the bastard, didn’t let it pass. “What is it about him then?”
You have no idea.
“…Because if it’s about him lying to you, I’d be surprised. Given that you actually knew him the longest out of all of us, I’d have thought that it was you that he could be himself the most with. Unless you thought that was all a lie too?”
Katsuki closed his eyes, thinking back to the glee on Deku’s face as he grabbed the models for Katsuki’s gauntlets, or how he cooed like an idiot before those cats; the way he tripped at a random stranger’s proposal and sang badly, or how he designed his horrendous hero suit with what looked like bunny ears.
It was hard to explain the mix of fond annoyance and pained resignation within him.
“As if it’s possible to lie about loser things like that.”
The truth was that, regardless of all pretenses, he knew, deep inside, that Deku had been as true to himself as he could be. How could he be otherwise, really? Especially after being told most of his life that he wasn’t good enough. He was rebelliously stubborn that way.
That itself was the problem.
Todoroki’s bicolored eyes were intent. “Then, what is it that he did wrong then?”
Katsuki had enough time to think about it as well. It wasn’t that the lie itself was wrong; although it was what had first gotten Katsuki on Deku’s back to begin with; and that was where the trouble started.
Where he started seeing the nerd as something more.
“He was such a troublesome little shit. He gave me hell for questioning why you’d marry him, and he made me think that I was irrational…”
…For first not being able to believe that Todoroki would marry him. Then somehow turning things on their head so that Katsuki ended up questioning why Deku would want to marry Todoroki instead.
“…and he made me do stupid things...”
Like pushing through with an investigation of IcyHot’s butt cheek, having his arms colored orange, exploding things at dawn on a weekend and making an epic ass of himself at someone’s housewarming party.
Like turning Katsuki’s head so hard, it made his head hurt and his heart ache.
Like making him see things differently, making him want more and nothing else at the same time.
Like fucking falling in love, himself, and after just two fucking weeks no less.
“…and he made me question myself.”
Katsuki was not one for inconvenient emotions, but now he knew: once he felt things, he felt them strongly, and he apparently went all the fucking way.
And he had followed Deku down that rabbit hole, and look where he’d ended up: deceived, angry, and ready to play the martyr for some idiotic lie.
But even more difficult to comprehend was the truth.
That Deku had never met Todoroki face to face until that night, but decided to save him anyway, even going so far as to commit to a fake engagement if it meant keeping him safe.
That even if the engagement was fake, there was never any hope for Katsuki anyway, not because Deku chose Todoroki first, but because now that the truth had come out, he would still choose Todoroki, at the last.
That Todoroki’s awakening was the first time they both looked at each other; and now they were both taking that chance that Katsuki never had: to start anew and see where it takes them.
And fuck, while he knew objectively that they both deserved it; he didn’t know if he could bear to see it.
And then there was Deku and his stupid messages – how he said things in a way that stupidly made Katsuki want to hope, when everything else pointed towards Todoroki in a happy ending that would leave no one but Katsuki fucked.
Deku could text and apologize all he wanted, but ultimately, it changed nothing if things turned out as Katsuki thought they would. Todoroki might as well have actually proposed to Deku, for all the good it did for him.
“I’d given more thought to that as I started remembering more, these past few weeks.” Todoroki said in a stilted voice. “I think I actually did tell him, once, that I’d rather marry him than anyone else my father could think of.”
Katsuki started. “Hah?”
“We were working on that Illegal Quirk Marriages operation, and there was something about the way Izuku spoke to me… that made me try to see things differently. He even got me to use my Fire on that operation.”
That was Deku? Katsuki knew he should no longer surprised by that; of course it was the stupidly brilliant nerd.
“And before I knew it, I was saying those words. And even though it’s not the same thing at all and it was figure of speech, I did say it for some reason.” He gave a small huff.
“In a way, that part where I had proposed to him hadn’t even been a lie.”
Katsuki snapped, suddenly furious. “Then why didn’t you marry him, then?” he felt tempted to push Todoroki out and slam the door in his face, very loudly. “And why do you need to keep shoving this down my throat?”
Todoroki’s eyes flashed and he raised a brow. “Do you really mean that? Are you seriously going to pretend that you’ve had no interest in Izuku to begin with, after everything you’ve done?”
What the ever loving—Katsuki stood up, his fingers twitching. “Fuck are you talking about? Like you have the right to speak! Have you actually come all the way here to bring this up, when I’ve practically laid the path for you and the nerd?”
Todoroki crossed his arms, undeterred, and braced his legs apart. “What path? As if I ever had a chance, with the way you came in and exploded your way into his life before I woke up?” He shook his head. “And now you’ve left him in limbo, and I’m this close to coming in and taking care of things, myself—”
Katsuki gaped. “Are you fucking kidding me? I’m the one who never had a chance!” He roared as he grabbed Todoroki’s shirt. “The idiot’s so obviously in love with you that he did everything just to keep you safe. You're the one he chose.”
Katsuki pressed a palm to his eyes, now wet. “And so what if I care? What if, fuck, I love him, and I still don’t know if I deserve him? It doesn’t matter what I do, or how I feel, because you are all that he needs to be happy. You’re the one that he wanted to do all of this for.”
His grip went loose on Todoroki as he exhaled, suddenly tired.
“So what the hell are you waiting for?”
In front of him, Todoroki stilled. His piercing eyes stared back at him.
“Bakugou, do you still not know?”
Katsuki started, unsure what the question was, and if he could bear the answer.
Todoroki’s voice went soft. “Did you know that I asked Izuku if he wanted me to marry him, but he chose to end the engagement anyway, because he wanted to be fair to me?”
Katsuki shook his head at that, laughing wetly. “Of course he would! Knowing the idiot, he probably thought that you weren’t ready to do the deed just yet, but he’d probably say yes in a fucking heartbeat—"
“No.” But Todoroki just shook his head at him to cut him off. “Because it isn’t me."
At Katsuki’s still gaze, Todoroki stepped back and looked him in the eye. “Izuku knows what he wants this time, and he told me that what he wanted was this: to do what made him happy, and to be with the person he loved.”
Katsuki’s heart stopped at those words. His answer, to Deku’s questions. What would you do, Kacchan? What would you do if you were in my place?
“Can’t you see?”
(“Whatever happens now, all I have to do is think of you – and I know: I am happy.” The damn nerd’s messages that Katsuki couldn’t make himself delete)
He felt a roaring in his ears; warmth flooding his chest. He was at all sea after everything he’d seen and done and felt, so much that he couldn’t even breathe. He could scarcely make himself hope, knowing everything that had happened between them. Could this actually be the truth?
“Dammit.” Katsuki croaked as tears start forming at the corners of his eyes.
“Do you still really not know?” Todoroki asked him again; and finally, Katsuki understood.
“I’m not the one he’s in love with, Bakugou.”
I think the real question here is: What the hell are you waiting for?
“Congratulations, Midoriya shounen. You are now officially a professional hero.”
Never in Midoriya Izuku’s life did he believe that he would actually hear those words – from All Might of all people.
He blinked back his tears as he up from his new Hero License, complete with his horrible photo. “I can’t believe this has actually happened.”
He felt a knock against his forehead as Shinso snarked, “You better believe it, kid – you’re the first quirkless Hero of our generation: Pro Hero Deku.”
Mirio gave him an encouraging grin, “And this is only just the beginning. Don’t forget, you’re starting with our agency next month.”
This time Izuku gave up on stopping the tears. “I really am thankful. I couldn’t have done this without any of you. All Might and Lemillion-san, thank you for spending so much time and effort to train me at I-Island.”
All Might smiled broadly, “Did you know that most of the top heroes showed signs of greatness before they reached their full potential? They claimed that their bodies simply moved before they could think.” He placed a hand on Izuku’s head. “I have great faith in you, my boy.”
Izuku sniffled, his fingers trembled on his license. “I’ll try not to let you down, All Might…”
From his side, Mei gave him a whoop, “It looks like the new suit did wonders too. It was amazing to collaborate with the Shield team on those gloves that pack more punch. We’ll make sure to keep improving it as you go along.”
Izuku also turned to give her a hug, enveloping Shinso at the same time. Shinso, a kindred spirit who also knew what it was like to not be able to help what your heart longed for; and Mei, whose logic-defying feats gave Izuku the courage to try to be a Hero against all reason. He didn't know where he would be without them.
“I’m so grateful to you both. You’ve helped me so much along the way, and I’ve cause you so much trouble…”
He closed his eyes, trying not to think of Kacchan.
“…Thank you so much, my BFF boos—”
Shinso yanked at his hair this time, “If you want to thank us, help us figure out how to get the restaurant as soon as possible. Todoroki and Yaoyorozu are waiting with your mother, and I ordered a car, but we can only fit four people in…”
Izuku beamed at him despite his grumbling, “That’s not a problem, I can take the train. I know the area well, and I feel like I still have a lot of excess exam nerves to walk off anyway.”
With a plan in place, Izuku ducked into the closest station. He couldn’t help but feel that sense of nostalgia as he came up to the platform.
It had started off simply enough – when he rescued Todoroki Shouto from the train tracks two months ago.
And now, there he was, Midoriya Izuku, a Pro Hero.
He closed his eyes; if only this success didn’t feel so bittersweet.
He wondered what Kacchan would say if Izuku sent him a picture of his license; or if he actually just showed up to share it with him directly. He’d only just arrived from America and hadn’t gotten the chance to reach out before the exam – surely Kacchan could stand his presence for a few seconds, if only for Izuku to thank him.
(You’re not meant to be hidden behind other heroes, Deku, not for a single second longer.)
I have to. Izuku thought, sending the picture to Kacchan anyway.
This was all thanks to you, Kacchan.
He was wiping the resurgent tears in his eyes when he was interrupted by the voices raised in alarm down the platform.
He ran over as the commotion grew.
“Someone fell! There’s a man on the tracks!”
Izuku’s eyes widened. Are you kidding me?
He heard the distant roar of the train, and if it wasn’t even a question for him before, it wasn’t going to be one now: he launched himself through to the platform, rushing to lift the victim, who had been lying face down on the tracks, onto the platform.
Calm down. This isn’t your first train accident, he thought, and the statement struck him as so hysterical that he had to ignore that part of his brain that wondered if this was some sort of cosmic trick.
If this was anything like what he encountered with Shouto, he had to put the guy into the recovery position and check for head injuries. He angled the man’s spiky blonde hair and—
Wait a minute.
He wasn’t proud of how high his voice went that second.
Furious red eyes glared back at him, “Seriously nerd, couldn’t you be gentler with the lifting? It’s a wonder IcyHot wasn’t worse off with his coma, if that’s the way you carried him. And to think you’re supposed to be a Pro Hero now!”
Izuku seriously had no idea what was going on. He didn’t even have words to speak. All he could do was reach out with shaky fingers to touch his face – after not getting to see him for so long…
Then Kacchan’s words hit him.
He ended up pinching the face under his hands, “Excuse me? I’m meant to be saving you from a collision and checking you for injuries, not lifting you up from the tracks on a feather mattress and laying you down for a massage! And what were you doing anyway, falling down on the tracks, in the first place? What, did you want to see what it was like for yourself, like an asshole?"
He didn’t realize that he was still crying as he was yelling back, or that Kacchan had placed his hands on his, rubbing softly with his thumbs.
Izuku couldn’t stop crying, “For a top hero, how can you be such a raving idiot?”
He was interrupted by security, as a policeman finally arrived at the scene. “Sir can I ask you to step back, unless you know this person?”
Izuku looked up, suddenly unable to speak, and even more unwilling to let go.
“Of course, he knows me,” Kacchan groused from below him, also not letting go. “He’s my fiancé.”
“Yep, that’s the guy,” a familiar voice called out and Izuku turned to see Ashido on the platform, a shit-eating grin on her face. “Green hair, crazy cute freckles, ass for the gods. That’s the fiancé alright.”
On the opposite platform, Uraraka suddenly called out, “Fit awkward bunny who can’t sing to save his life? That’s Bakugou's guy over there.”
Iida appeared next to the policeman, enacting the worst stage whisper. “There are videos.”
“He’s a beast at saving people though. And he can dance. So he’s not too bad, as far as fiancés go.” He heard Kaminari's voice somewhere.
Izuku’s eyes darted all across the platforms, where he spotted Kirishima, Hagakure, Asui… and was that Taping Hero Cellophane? By the stairs, All Might, Mirio, Shinso, Kaminari and Mei had come back and were watching, the last with her trusty video recorder of shame. Even Shouto, Momo and his mother were there.
“Make sure you do it properly, Lord Explosion,” Shinso called out lazily. “So that you won’t just be a boy and a friend this time around.”
Izuku’s gaze whirled back to Kacchan, who was smirking at him, clearly not injured at all, or well enough at least, to snark:
“So apparently, this is the most surefire way to get you to agree to marry someone.”
Izuku’s mouth started trembling, and his vision blurred again with tears. He sniffed horribly.
“Are you going to say yes, Izu? Mitsuki wants to know on the phone, because Katsuki banned them from coming.” His mother called out. What is this even.
“You better get down on one knee, Bakugou.” Shouto suggested with his usual blank expression, his actual thoughts betrayed only by a small smirk.
“Yeah dude, it’s plain lazy to be lying on the ground for this – great fall though.” Kirishima cheered.
“Awesome job with the pushing, Kirishima! If I’d have known we were pushing Bakugou, I would have gotten in line.” Kaminari called out from next to Shinso.
"Not before me, you would have!" Cellophane jeered back. “But those train sound effects were amazing, Jirou!”
“For crying out loud!” The policeman cried out. “Get on with it, A-gumi. I can only manage this shapeshifting quirk for 5 minutes, and we really need to give back access to the train station soon.”
Izuku gave a wet laugh. Was that… Monoma?
He felt a hand turn his face. “Hey, nerd.”
He turned his head to face Katsuki Bakugou, brilliant super-quirked prodigy, awesome butterfly catcher and skip-stone thrower, first-class jerk, boneheaded competitor, stupidly amazing top 10 hero, and the first asshole to tell Izuku that his dreams didn’t have to end, because he was already everything he wanted to be, and more.
“I know this is ridiculous, but I was told to pull all the stops when it came to you, and too many people were fucking invested in making this work.” Kacchan said, his voice low “And while the train, the stunt and Monoma might be fake.” He ignored the yelled-out complaint from the side as he got up on one knee. “I’m here to ask you a question, and just to be fucking clear, this one’s for real.”
Izuku tried to nod quietly, but he couldn’t help himself. Because saying it by text wouldn't have done it justice, and he should have said it to his face as soon as he knew: “I’m in love with you, Kacchan!”
Kacchan’s face slowly broke into a stupid grin, his red eyes widening as he drew closer, “Yeah? Well we're both in luck this time, because I love you too,” he whispered, his rough voice catching at the end, almost wondrous.
“Now, seal the deal with me, won’t you? This time, for the rest of our lives.”
Izuku held his breath as Kacchan lifted a ring.
“Marry me, Deku.”
(Art commission credit to Xairylle)
“Should have known I’d find you here." Katsuki murmured as he stepped onto the near-abandoned VIP area at The Floor Bar, where he was finally able to find Deku hours later - and on his own for once.
"People were starting to wonder where my fiancé had gone off to, during his own engagement and official hero party.”
Deku stepped closer to him, now that they finally had each other to themselves.
“Say it again, Kacchan.”
Katsuki raised a brow. “Say what?”
There was a gleam in Deku’s eyes as he raised his hands to land on Katsuki’s chest, holding onto his shirt. “What you called me,” he whispered, “say it again, please?”
Katsuki’s throat went dry despite himself. “Fiancé?”
Deku closed his eyes and hummed, his arms boldly climbing Katsuki’s neck, “Your fiancé.”
Katsuki swallowed, even as he smirked. “You damn ridiculous nerd.” His hands went around Deku’s waist, and all of a sudden, it was just the two of them again, dancing in the dark like before.
“What were you doing here, anyway?” Katsuki began softly.
Deku’s eyes flew open. “I… just needed a moment to myself, while everyone else was celebrating.”
Katsuki had to pause at his tone of voice. “Hey, nerd,” he asked, placing a hand on the other's cheek. "Is everything okay?"
Deku shook his head, “I just… needed to tell myself that this is real. I can’t quite believe that Kacchan’s here.” He peered up at him through his lashes. “You are the one person that I’ve been waiting for, and all I wanted was for you to give me another chance... and now you’re here." He looked down at the ring that Katsuki had given him, breathless at what it meant. "And I am so happy that I can't quite believe it."
Katsuki had to bite his lip before he did something unspeakable, like cry in public like an idiot. “Well you better believe it.”
“Kacchan, I'm sorry again for everything... and I really hope that you can forgive me, and we can start again.”
Katsuki only shook his head, giving Deku a teasing smirk; he knew that it took forgiveness on both their parts to get here. “You better make it up to me.” He huffed a small laugh, "I won't always get it right either, Deku. A lot of this is just as new to me."
Deku’s smile grew, and he nodded. “Well, we have the rest of our lives... and we are getting married.”
“Damn right we are,” Katsuki whispered, determined. Fuck, he was going to marry him.
This was it.
“And you love me back.” Deku’s eyes held his, his voice suddenly soft, almost in awe.
Katsuki swallowed at the sentiment, feeling that familiar thump in his chest, now understood and welcomed. “Yes,” he said, his voice rough. “Yeah, I really do.”
“And you look amazing.”
Katsuki started at the sudden tangent, but gave a smug grin the instant he saw Deku’s red cheeks; that saucy smile in place. “Yeah? What the hell is on that mind of yours, Deku?”
“Well, see, that’s also why I needed a moment. Because I’m here, with my unbelievable and unbelievably gorgeous, real, not-fake fiancé, and all I keep thinking about is how I really want to finally kiss him, but I just couldn’t get the chance with everyone around us—”
Katsuki, who had placed his hand on the nerd’s face as he was mumbling, shook his head with a husky “Shut up, you damn nerd,” before leaning in to capture his lips.
And Deku—Deku melted into him, until he could find his bearings enough to run his hands through Katsuki’s hair, mewling back a soft “Kacchan” that undid him, before responding in full, opening his lips to him and quietly ruining him.
“Damn it.” Katsuki swore to himself moments later, awed. “I just knew that kissing you would be fucking amazing.”
“Well… I could think of a few more ideas.” Deku continued to press tantalizing kisses on his neck, his breath tickling his jaw, fingers dancing up his arms to squeeze at his biceps, “Kacchan. You’re here. I get to marry you." His voice dipped low. "My fiancé.”
Katsuki’s thoughts short-circuited.
The snap of a bar towel interrupted the sudden southward flow of his blood, and both he and Deku jumped apart to find Tachi in the bar, his arms crossed. “Right boys, this is still a public place, and still my bar.”
He smirked. “Go leave now, before we all regret it, and I’ll make sure to cover for you.”
Deku went into full awkward nerd mode and bowed with a mortified “Eep!” and multiple mumbled apologies, before Katsuki had enough and dragged him away.
Katsuki hid his grin and blinked back any almost-tears as he held Deku’s hand, instead rolling his eyes at him.
Damn nerd. His fiancé.
They’ve Tied the Knot! Ground Zero Marries Up-and-Coming Pro Hero Deku
Popular explosion hero marries childhood neighbor and inspiring quirkless pro hero Deku in surprise ceremony
By Kao Mojo, PopSweet correspondent
Yes, you’ve heard it from us first. Popular Pro Hero Ground Zero (Bakugou Katsuki) has surprised fans by suddenly tying the knot with up-and-coming quirkless Pro Hero Deku in an open ceremony yesterday, and we've been invited to provide exclusive blog and media coverage!
Ground Zero has always held the country’s imagination, given his admirable dedication to victory and his famously explosive nature (see our coverage on him here), and we’re quite sure that hearts are breaking all across the nation now that he’s gotten hitched.
However, the less-known Deku is now the name on everyone’s lips. He is not an unfamiliar face to this blog, however (see articles tagged under Green Eyes), and our sharp-eyed research team has discovered more information on the groom.
His name is Midoriya Izuku and he and Ground Zero were childhood neighbors. He was a General Studies student at Ketsubutsu Academy, where, even though he was quirkless, he started working with the school’s best-known pro heroes.
He used to work as a quirk analysis officer at the Public Security Intelligence Agency, where he has been involved in an undisclosed number of successful operations.
He has also had a provisional hero license for the past year, and our team found out that he has actually been involved in no less than 11 rescue incidents ever since, one of which involving Pro Hero Shouto’s accident earlier this year.
He obtained his professional hero license last month, becoming the first quirkless Pro Hero in this generation, and he now works for All Might Agency together with Pro Hero Lemillion.
What we find even juicier is their mysterious love story, which we tried to unwrap below through interviews among their star-studded guests:
It was a very short engagement, but a very long story
Apparently Ground Zero had only met Deku again for less than a month before he decided to propose, which he did last month on a train platform in Musutafu.
“It doesn’t take a genius to see,” famous engineer, tech genius and Deku’s Best Woman Hatsume Mei commented, “that there was something special between them when they met each other again. Ground Zero just really couldn’t stay away from our Izu.”
Deku’s Man of Honor Shinso Hitoshi only laughed when we asked him, “They were flirting. All. The. Time. And they didn’t even realize it. Honestly, I’m surprised that [Deku] didn’t realize his obsession with Kacchan (Deku’s nickname for Ground Zero – which we find absolutely adorable!) sooner.”
When we asked Ground Zero’s co-Best Man Red Riot (Kirishima Eijirou) about this, he agreed: “Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bakugou react that strongly to anyone else before."
Love-rat hero Chargebolt (Kaminari Denki) also said, “He didn’t have very good game though. It’s like he wanted to piss Midoriya off into marrying him instead.”
Instead? We wanted to find more about this, but Chargebolt was evasive. “It’s might not seem like it, but it’s a long story.”
Their friends and family approve
None of their friends seemed to think that it was too soon for them to get married.
“Deku-kun is an absolutely amazing person.” Pro Hero Uravity (Uraraka Ochako) said, “He’s so selfless, but he’s tenacious at the same time. Bakugou couldn’t have found a better guy, really! You should have seen how delighted his parents were!”
Even her date, Phantom Thief (Monoma Neito) agreed, after some prodding. “He’s not the worst person I suppose. They both deserve each other.”
“We’re just glad that Bakugou didn’t mess up his proposal.” Pro Hero Pinky (Ashido Mina) commented. “Or else we would have had to do it for him. Imagine if any other Green Boy fans got there first."
“Trust me, this is where they’d end up anyway,” wedding drinks officer and The Floor bartender Sen Tachikawa said, “They already had crazy chemistry before, but you didn’t see them at their surprise engagement party at the club. It was like they were discovering everything for the first time.” He winked.
"They both left super early that night, if you know what I mean.”
Ground Zero is proud of his new husband – and Deku’s the same!
While many well-known hero couples tend to marry in secret (for understandable reasons), Ground Zero seems to have had no qualms about proclaiming their new status, even going as far as to actively invite us to their wedding.
“He seems keen to let the whole world know, this time around.” Pro Hero and Deku’s former flame Quake (Shindo Yo) approved. “There’s no hiding for these two, and you have to admire that.”
We managed to grab the busy groom Deku himself for a few quick words, and he said: “I’ve achieved my dream, and I married the man I love. I can’t be happier!”
Ground Zero seemed to be just as proud of this. “Damn right, you did. Hear that, IcyHot!” he called out across the room to his co-Best Man (and now officially the country’s No. 1 Bachelor) Pro Hero Shouto. “I’ve married him! No [censored] takesies backsies this time!”
He then turned back to his new husband, who only patted his arm with a smile, “I’m glad you chose me too, Kacchan."
They fell in love “while Shouto was sleeping”
“I was surprised when I realized that they knew each other as kids. It was so different when they met each other again.” Pro hero Creati (Yaoyorozu Momo) smiled when we asked her what she thought about their relationship. “It was almost like love at second sight.”
When we asked Shouto what he thought, the handsome Pro Hero, who had just come out of a harrowing two-week coma just months ago, only shrugged, “I asked them once to tell me how it all happened, and they said, ‘It was while you were sleeping’.”
"Both of them matter to me, and the only thing I can do is to make sure that they can be happy together."
For all that this wedding has rocked the Hero world with its suddenness, we get the sense that there is as lot more to this story than meets the eye, and we will make sure to update this page as we learn more.
In the meanwhile, we wish the couple all the best in their new marriage, and we hope that that the joy in their ceremony will follow their union in all the years to come.
(Art credit to ESCL at bernardmarie.tumblr.com)
Ground Zero and Deku: a heroic wedding in pictures
The star-studded guest list: the crème de la crème of UA and Ketsubutsu alumni
“Seal the deal!”: How both grooms couldn’t help the tears – and the good-natured jokes from their guests – during the ceremony
Inside the reception: How All Might poked fun at Ground Zero with a cat joke and the best wedding moments
Most stylish: See who among the hero guests were best dressed
Spotlight on Hatsume Mei: Genius engineer and the ‘Best Woman’ at the wedding
Couple watch: see the surprising match ups at the wedding, Uravity and Phantom Thief, Ingenium and Hatsume Mei, Quake and Nail, and Chargebolt's mysterious date!
Tags: Ground Zero, Bakugou Katsuki, Deku, Midoriya Izuku, Green Eyes, Entertainment, Wedding, Celebrity, Hero, News