It was an accident, no matter what his friends said about it later. Not that he wasn’t disbelieved . Just...it always was. An accident, that is.
Izuku wasn’t really used to being famous. He’d been a hero nerd so long, it just kind of….slipped his mind that he was now a hero that was geeked out over. His autograph was worth money . He had his own merchandise- merchandise that was very high in both supply and demand.
It didn’t help that he liked to go to conventions in costume for other heroes. Both the heroes he loved as he grew up and the new heroes that fascinated him. It was something he’d done since he was young, so he didn’t even think about it. When a convention came around, Izuku made a costume and went, invited or not.
And while he was at the conventions, the casual ‘geeking out’ over heroes wasn’t anything odd. It was what happened at Hero Cons. Joining in the conversations while he was on the floor was second nature, he was just as excited about the heroes as the rest if the attendees, so why wouldn't he? He’d always done so, even when he was still Quirkless and rushing around in his first attempts at sewing anything.
The problem, Izuku found, was that there were quite a few times that the crowd was fanboying over him . He always had to take a minute when he realized, when all their voices washed over him-
He’s so cool!
Did you see what he did last week with the Jolt Villains?! One of them had a water Quirk and the other had electricity! They worked really well together, and they managed to shock Deku more than once but he just kept going!
He’s a hero, ya know? And that means a lot to me- he’s not one of those heroes that doesn’t care about his fans!
Yeah, did you see that video of Deku at last year’s Con? One of his fans was talking during the Q&A and mentioned how they struggled with depression and panic attacks and some other things, and he literally climbed off the stage to hug her and talk her down from a panic attack! It was just- It really struck me you know?
He’s Number One for a reason!
He makes me feel safe. Even when he’s not right next to me, I know he’s out there, somewhere, and that’s really comforting to me.
-and Izuku just wanted to cry because this was what he wanted to do when he was small. This was his dream and it was happening and Izuku couldn’t believe it sometimes. Sometimes it felt like a dream. Sometimes he could hear all those voices from his childhood- Quirkless. Helpless. Useless. You can never be a hero like that! - and it just-
It wasn’t true. He was here, he was standing at the top and the world looked at him and smiled . He inspired people. To some, they had never even known All Might as the No. 1 hero. For their lives, it was Deku.
So the not telling his fans that he was Pro Hero Deku, the world’s Number One, while he flailed over the newest hero video and got into video breakdowns with them, was an accident. Really, his name should be common knowledge, especially after the Sports Festivals, but a great deal of people had no idea who Midoriya Izuku was.
Which was what he introduced himself as. Dozens of conventions, dozens of costumes, his name was well known in lots of areas. He’d been doing cons for years before he was a Pro, and he planned to keep doing it, so really it was no surprise that Izuku never thought of himself as Deku while he was traveling the floor. Nor that any familiarity people saw in him was quickly explained with his sheer amount of participation in the fan industry.
Besides, the only real difference to going to the Hero Cons now vs when he was younger, was that he was invited to them instead of buying a ticket.
Izuku bounced on his toes, burying his face into the capture weapon wrapped around his neck. It was an authentic weapon, as he had asked Hitoshi for Aizawa-sensei’s weaponized scarf. Or rather, a spare that wasn’t in use. An older model.
He’d chosen to cosplay Aizawa-sensei this year. It was easier to do now that Aizawa-sensei was the principal of UA (and now that Hitoshi had spares of his mentor’s uniform), as he was rather well known in his older years. Being the Sensei to Class 3-A , and surviving the July Attacks, as well as being chosen for the role of Principal for UA - he was rather famous really, even if he hated it.
Midoriya would never miss a chance to cosplay one of his favorite people and teachers. (Especially when Aizawa wouldn’t yell at him about it. Other than a muttered, ‘ problem child’ and really that was more fond than angry so there. )
The makeup he was wearing to hide his freckles, mimic stubble, change his facial shape subtly, and recreate Aizawa’s scars alongside the contacts and wig kept his identity underwraps. That Izuku really liked the capture weapon- fully functioning and able to be used if needed, also soft - and buried his face into it only helped. The black jumpsuit Eraserhead favored hid his own easily identifiable scars, and Izuku had no idea how Occhaco had done it, but she managed to hide the scars on his hands with liberal use of makeup.
He’d been stopped for over two dozen pictures already and Izuku had to fight to keep his face blank the way he knew Eraserhead would when all he wanted to do was smile Some had asked for the manic grin the man was known for giving. That had become a popular meme several years ago, along with the caption, ‘ logic ruse!’ . His class had collectively lost their minds when they saw it, and it had been a constant sight in the group chat. It still was, at every opportunity, and at the class liked to stop by UA and make of game of hiding a copy of it somewhere in Aizawa’s office.
Hero Cons were the absolute best place to get Merchandise. Rare, limited edition, one-of-a-kind and even discounted. They had everything . Plus some of the fanart on sale was gorgeous . He’d already bought a few pieces for his friends and himself.
He’d found one of Tail Man, leaping out of the page, his body mid-turn and his tail coming around for an obviously powerful blow. It had been done in chalk pastels and the colors had been stunning. The way it had been blended...Izuku had grabbed it immediately, knowing that Ojiro would love it.
He’d spent twenty minutes at the vendor who was selling the chalk pastel drawings gushing over them and making the boy behind the counter blush and stammer. He’d also bought another one of Froppy, because the number of blended colors he could see for the water alone would was glorious, much less the mid-air twist he had drawn Froppy doing over the lake in the glen he had placed her in.
The artist had obviously seen their subjects in action as all the details were nearly perfect. Izuku was in awe.
The next piece of artwork to join his collection was an acrylic painting of Uravity as a space goddess, floating in the middle of their solar system, cradling Earth in her palms, larger than life and glowing and gorgeous.
He’d seen one of himself on the walls of the vender stand, decked out like a knight, face twisted with determination, a smile stretching his lips, and an I Dare You look in his eyes despite the scuffed and dented armor he wore, his sword lifted out of the page at an unseen enemy.
Shouto had been a beautiful painting of an Elemental, his fire and ice crawling up the page and almost looking like Izuku could reach out and touch it.
It was so good and in that moment, Izuku couldn’t help himself. He bought two of every picture he saw for Class 3-A and the artists card. He’d make sure they got a copy of each piece of art mailed back with autographs.
The vendor looked like a breeze would knock her over when Izuku bought the lot. He made quite a lot of money and original, one-of-a-kind art required a rather large price tag. That he bought the lot was absolutely going to keep the artist well fed and supplied. He’d have to get a vehicle to bring it back to his room, but it was well worth it.
Izuku’s favorite things to find though, had to be the hero merch for Toshinori . Not All Might, but Toshi as he was, skinny and True. It had made a slow appearance over the years after the fight that revealed it all. The first time Deku had seen it, it had been during his first year as an official Pro, already very popular thanks to the July Attacks and his work while interning.
The vendor had flipped when they recognized Deku, thanks to his fanboying over All Might in front of their stand. The fact he was in cosplay hadn’t phased the teen, he’d known the instant Deku went on one of his famous rants who he was looking at. Obviously a dedicated and observant watcher.
Deku had bought the entire collection of artwork the vendor had done for Toshinori, and then signed a small collection of work for the teen with a grin on his face. The shell-shocked, dazzled look on the artist’s face made his day.
Izuku had no way of knowing that, as he walked away with bags and bags of merchandise, practically floating to his hotel room to drop it off- he’d planned to distribute some of it among his classmates- the teenager he’d left at the vendor stand practically melted into the floor.
However, his reaction drew some attention, even if most people minded their own business.
The teen had slid bonelessly to the floor, where, after landing face down, he had laid until his best friend came back from checking out the rest of the vendors.
“Dude, what happened to you?”
The vendor had let out a small shriek of sound, flailing a bit on the ground.
“Takeshi, man, I need you to speak words- wait. Wait! No way! Takeshi where did you get the signed Deku works?! I know you didn’t have them earlier! I helped you unload all of this! And- are you missing an entire section of your work? I was gone ten minutes! How did you sell it all so quick?”
Takeshi screamed into the floor and okay, now he was somewhat concerned.
“I met Deku .” Takeshi’s voice was a wheeze and across from him, his friend stilled, arms frozen mid motion, and his mouth dropping open.
“No fucking way .”
“No, no you don’t understand Taro. He bought my entire stock on Tiny Might. Deku likes my art. Deku likes my art he bought all of it and then signed my fanart of him when I asked.”
Takeshi looked like his entire world had just been shaken up like a snowglobe. When he finally lifted his face off the ground and then sat up,he was revealed to be cradling his sketchbook to his chest and appearing as if he was one word away from breaking into tears.
He flipped the sketchbook around for Taro to see, revealing the open page.
Your art is really amazing, and it brings a smile to my face! Keep on drawing, no matter what! I hope to see you again next year.
The charcoal pieces are my favorite, they have really amazing contrast!
You Can Do It!
Any Hero Convention that Izuku went to had a tradition on the last day he was there.
It wasn’t one he had started on purpose, but usually when he came out on stage for all his panels, he was never in his cosplay. It was always jeans and t-shirts. Every single t-shirt was one from his friend’s Merchandise line, or a joke gift from Momo.
A t-shirt that said Speed Racer over his chest, with an Ingenium helmet under the words.
One that had Sato’s muscles drawn on the front and sleeves while the back had Sugar Rush across his shoulders.
Another that had Dark Shadow and Tokoyami mid-attack and in white over the picture the worlds, Hello Darkness my Old Friend .
One of his favorites was from Momo, as a subtle nod to Hitoshi, in black with purple words across the chest reading Did I Make Your Mind Blank?
Half-and-Half Shouto tee’s. All sorts really.
But the tradition started after his first convention, when Occhaco had mentioned that none of his fans had gotten to see his cosplay.
Usually, Izuku had multiple cosplays set for the Conventions, so he would choose his favorite, and on the last panel he had, he would step out in costume.
This was where most of his fans flipped out, suddenly realizing they had talked to Deku .
Deku fanboyed over my hero merch.
Deku got in an loud attention grabbing debate in the middle of the lobby .
That was DEKU I asked for pictures.
Or, as the case happened Deku asked me for a picture .
His friends always thought it was hilarious. Izuku never thought about it until his fans started screaming in the crowd, or grabbing the nearest stranger and shaking them.
In the middle of the convention, Izuku never thought about it, but on that last day someone always reminded him to show off his cosplay. Izuku always loved to share, and was entirely too happy to explain the ‘hows’ of making the cosplay if he was asked.
There were a few videos showing a tutorial or four on how he had managed the really difficult pieces.
One of the most popular videos was of Detonation standing in costume with Deku in sweats and a bright red MANLY tank top poking at his costume while surrounded by half constructed pieces of his Detonation cosplay.
The video ended with Katsuki body slamming Izuku over his coffee table and taking out the camera in the process while Shouto yelled in the background ‘ don’t break the table! ” and Barkugou barked at the loud noise.
A lot of the time, Deku ended up signing pictures of his old cosplays once his fans knew it was him. It become a game for the few fans that were in the know that Deku stayed true to his roots as a hero otaku.
This year however, Izuku only had the Eraserhead cosplay, a series of villain attacks throughout the month leading up to the con having kept him from making multiples.
He found that fanartist he had met during his first con in the same booth he always rented out and he smiled. Takeshi always had new Toshi art for him, and Deku made a point to visit every year.
Takeshi refused to let Deku buy anything if he figured out it was Deku he was selling to, so Izuku always tried to hide who he was until after he’d made the purchase. He had a tradition of signing some of the works Takeshi did of him, choosing the ones he really liked, and always offering constructive advice to him for his art.
Perhaps he should have expected it really. Class 3-A as a whole had always had the devil’s luck.
Still he didn’t expect the attack in the middle of the convention, right in the heart of the vendor’s floor. And, as per his Class’ luck, the force of the villain’s first attack sent Deku flying off his own feet and into the vendor table.
Instinct kicked in as soon as his feet left the ground, and without missing a beat, Deku landed on the table with his hands, spinning himself around in a breakdance move he had learned from Mina, and throwing himself off of the table back onto his feet facing the origin of the attack, eyes narrowed and body low to the ground.
Not a single piece of his cosplay was displaced in the mess.
The villain laughed, and Izuku was not happy. He was enjoying himself, and this was a time for everyone to get together and enjoy themselves. Villains should know better than to attack a place like this.
Besides, didn’t they know that he was here?
Izuku lifted his hands and grabbed the end of the capture weapon around his neck, loosening the wrappings and blessing Aizawa-sensei for teaching him how to use the weapon properly. He darted forward with a feral smile on his lips, just as he always did.
The villain was better than Deku had given them credit for. It didn’t help that he apparently had accomplices in the crowd. Deku jumped back toward Takeshi’s table, quickly pulling the wig off of his head and shoving it into the vendor’s hands with a quick, “hold this please”, before he rushed forward again, Full Cowl sparking to life around his frame. He ignored the way his shirt began to dissolve against the sparking energy of his Quirk, the cosplay material not up to handling the rush of energy.
The entire fight ended up blazing across headlines, and Deku covered his face any time someone showed him the GIFsets that had been made from it. The incredibly popular GIFsets that were going to be on the internet forever.
Fan favorites ranged from Deku with red eyes- thanks to his contacts- shoving his wig into Takeshi’s hands- the utterly baffled, yet bemused look on Takeshi’s face was hilarious - the slow motion dissolving of his shirt- hello muscles - to the clip of him straightening up out of crouch over the villain. Still shirtless apart from the capture scarf he had used to tie up the lot before police arrived.
There was a great deal of smooth skin and flexing muscles accented by splashes of scars, both pale and faded and shiny pink.
Perhaps the most famous instance among Deku fans, was the time that Izuku attended a Hero Panel that didn’t have him on the panel itself. Instead, he had been in the audience itself, dressed up as All Might.
The panel had ended up becoming a live debate comparing the Number One heroes, Deku and All Might.
Izuku had listened to the entire thing wide eyed and shocked as the fans bounced the argument around the room between themselves. The Panel, being a collection of ‘up and coming’ heroes rather than any older Pros all tended to side with ‘Deku’ as being the better of the two.
Izuku ended up standing up in the middle of the crowd and debunking all of them with a rant about how All Might was Number One , even among the other number ones.
Looking back it was rather ridiculous and sort of embarrassing, but Izuku couldn’t help himself. The debate never resulted in raised voices, but it did get rather... intense.
It go so intense actually, that Izuku ended up sitting up on the panel itself, metaphorically on his own little soap box, as he waved his arms- he’d picked up some habits from Tenya- and enthusiastically played support for All Might in a room full of people who mostly were raised on stories of him as Number One.
Izuku would have continued to debate with the room at large, except the door opened, and everyone went silent . When Izuku looked up, he couldn’t stop the instinctive, “Kacchan!”
“Deku, you dumb fuck, you were supposed to be at your panel ten minutes ago we’re waiting on you!”
The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop as Izuku stood, rubbing the back of his head with embarrassment painted all over his features.
“Ah- excuse me, sorry everyone! I’m running late,” Izuku dipped into an embarrassed bow before he walked out of the room, beside Kacchan and shut the door quietly behind him.
As soon as the door closed, it sounded like a mini explosion went off behind the door as all over the panel room, fans started screaming and jumping to their feet.
This included the up and coming Pros, who reached over to each other and started yelling about how they had sat next to Deku , and can you believe it, oh my god .
It was chaos in the room as everyone inside it realized they had been debating why Deku was the Best with Deku dressed like All Might .
In the next few minutes, it suddenly hit the entire room that Deku’s Panel Started and they all collectively scrambled for the door. Needless to say, it was a mad dash for the suddenly bottlenecked passage out of the auditorium.
The entire panel had been captured on video- later named ‘The Great Debate’ and referred to by fans as that or ‘ The Debate Incident ’- and it was exceedingly popular, with spikes in views every other week. It was currently, one of Japan’s Most Viewed videos.
There were multiple comments on the video laughing about the chaos Deku left in his wake, as well as the mad scramble for the doors by everyone there- even the Pros- when they remembered that Deku’s Panel had started.
The Pro-Heroes were not excluded from this either.
In their homes, the entire class of 3-A snickered or outright laughed when seeing the video. Even with the massive amount of fame, the high dollar missions he took, the billboards and advertisements with his face plastered all over them, Deku remained the same.