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They've lived their whole lives in each other's spheres, with no more than a handful of weeks between seeing each other since Izuku was born. They've always been in the same time zone, a nightly phone call away if they couldn't be close enough to see each other. It's a comfort, the fact that for Katsuki and Izuku, they always have, and always will be, in each other's lives, a universal constant that's always true.

It's for that reason that the first time Izuku is requested to go abroad without Katsuki -

(Pro Hero Ground Zero normally accompanies Deku overseas - they're a Hero Duo, more often than not working with or at least near each other at all times - but right now Ground Zero and Red Riot are teaming up to root out drug traffickers in Shibuya.)

- the two of them are such a mess. Katsuki is all for "having some space from that nerd" but is double and triple checking Deku's luggage, making sure all his gear is sound and ready for action. Izuku has to eventually be pried from his boyfriend by Todoroki, who gives Kirishima (who's silently laughing behind the blond, phone taking pictures to share with the rest of their former classmates later) a fond yet exasperated look over their antics, before shuffling the two of them onto the plane.

As the plane leaves the tarmac, Izuku's already counting down the hours until he can return to Katsuki home.

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Is ZeKu Now Canon?

Speculation arises over some surprising pictures of Pro Heroes Ground Zero and Deku!

by OONO Rian

 

[Image: The backs of Pro Hero Ground Zero walking next to Pro Hero Deku in full hero regalia, hands brushing against each other; blurry appears to be the sides of both Heroes Shouto and Red Riot framing the two as they walk down the historic streets of Lyon.]

 

Fan theories have been numerous for the so-called Wonder Duo since their debut proper three years ago - from the supposed "ramen dates chronicled on Twitter" to the whole "are Ground Zero and Deku actually at HeroCon together or are these two very scarily accurate cosplayers" debacle (we still do not have a definitive answer for that one) - but the two have remained mum whether or not their relationship is more than friends or not. But this week's slew of photos of the two - with fellow heroes Shouto and Red Riot - have brought the questions to the forefront once again.

 

We all knew that Deku and Shouto were announced to be two of Japan's representative to this year's International Hero Symposium in Lyon, France (which we hope has been fun so far boys, even though Pro Hero Eraserhead was picked as Japan's lead this year) so suddenly seeing Ground Zero and Red Riot tagging along to lunches on the Rhône river, late night viewings of cinematic history and trips to listen to the pipe organ at the church of Saint Francis of Sales was a surprise!

 

[Image: The four Pro Heroes in civilian clothes posing as they stand in front of the massive pipes at St Fracis de Sales Catholic Church, throwing Victory signs.]

[Video: The four (in different clothes) are surrounded by fans requesting autographs in a small cinema; there's exclamations in French loosely translated to "Thre's 5 minutes before the movie starts!"]

[Image: Slightly different angle, inside the cinema still, Deku and Ground Zero sit next to each other, hands hidden by a large popcorn. Shouto sits next to Deku with Red Riot on his other side, looking at the screen with his normal cool expression even as Red Riot is manly crying.]

[Image: Deku and Ground Zero fishing a wet Red Riot out of the river as Shouto speaks with local heroine La Pucellee du Monde. All five are in their hero suits.]

 

But the Holy Grail for ZeKu shippers is this right here:

 

[Image: Ground Zero and Deku in nice civilian clothes, sitting across each other at a small table on the veranda of a restaurant. It's night, allowing viewers to see the twinkling skyline of Lyon. Deku is holding out his fork so Ground Zero can take a bit of some dessert he has in front of him.]

 

The above image was sent to us from a source that would prefer to remain anonymous at this time. Per Tweets by Red Riot himself, he and Shouto were visiting the Opéra National de Lyon on their own (which brings up speculation of its own, is this blossoming ShoutoRiot or just two friends giving their other friends some privacy?) during the time this picture was taken so this was definitely a candlelit dinner for two!

 

Does that mean we'll have confirmation that these two are actually together or are they going to remain playing the "Childhood Friends" card? When our zine reached their respective agencies for comments, reporters here at the Daily! were informed that "So long as they remember to do their jobs, they're free to take in the city on their off time" - these boys seem to either have a lot of free time around the various talks and presentations or they're doing their jobs at the wee hours of the morning (either is probable with these four).

 

So nothing yet, but we'll see what else they get into during the last days of the conference and maybe we'll get that confirmation when they return home!

Chapter Text

Izuku burst through the top of the staircase, opening the emergency door to the roof with a pound bang!

Just as he was about to take his prize from his coat, the teenager rolled and dodged out of the way of a quirk enhanced kick, giving an impressed whistle despite himself. "Going a tad overboard there, aren't you Ingenium?"

The armor clad hero huffed, audible in spite of the the bulky helmet on his head. "As if I would give a villain any quarter when they engage in grand larceny, excessive property damage, and willfully endangering the lives of civilians"

Izuku - no Magpie - gave the student hero an incredulous look. "Stealing is a given as a kaitou and property damage sure, but when did I ever knowingly endanger civilians? Unless you're talking about me dropping you and Mr Native that time in Hosu, but considering I had to dodge to make sure the two of you didn't get skewered and I'm not quite sure if you both are considered civilians since-"

Anything else the phantom thief was about to say was cut off from some decisive hand chops from the taller student. "Last time we met, you were able to sway me to not try and capture you with your words but this time -" something slightly damp and slimy suddenly coiled around Magpie, causing the young thief to yelp, "- I did not come alone!" Ingenium's actions were just a cover for Froppy's attack, and it kept the thief's hands in plain sight so he couldn't reach into his jacket for the various tricks he normally used on his heists. "What do you have to say for yourself, Phantom Thief Magpie?"

The thief mulled for a moment, tilting his head. "Who said I was here alone too?"

As soon as the words left his lips, another figure dive bombed the group with a wordless yell and a lot of smokescreen, startling Froppy enough for the heroine to jump back and release the other phantom thief. Magpie rolled away, coming back to back with a slightly taller figure that was just as infamous as Magpie himself.

The explosive thief Bakusatsuo growled, sparks coming from his gloves. "Can't believe you let some third rate hero wannabes catch you De- dumbass." The fumbling of his name would be cute... if Auntie Mitsuki wasn't cackling in their ears, tinny yells about not breaking character being important. "Did you at least get what you came for?"

Izuku snorted, before flicking his wrist, allowing the rather sizeable gemstone to fall neatly into his gloved hand. He held it up to the "Sorry Kac-er, Kaitou-san," damn, he messed up too, "but I guess it wasn't the gem we're looking for. You guys can have it back now." With an underhand toss and a cheeky grin, Magpie threw the gemstone - worth an absolutely absurd amount of yen, what even - between the two budding heroes.

As the two heroes scrambled to catch the target of the night's heist before it hit the cement rooftop of the building, Bakusatsuo took a running leap off the building, a series of controlled explosions propelling him into the night. Magpie laughed, jumping after him, hands triggering the mechanism to turn his black coat into a hang glider with nary a problem.

So it wasn't the gemstone he was looking for, but tonight wasn't a total bust either. What would the media say to a possible team up of both Lupins of Modern Crime?

Days later, both Izuku and Katsuki are pulled out of class - gen education and management respectively - to speak with a detective. They were basic questions, all about the night of the heist - where were they, were they always together, all those grand inquiries to try and make them look guilty.

Who were they to make the game that much easier for the police and the heroes? As if a lie detector quirk would trip up a couple of teens who were raised by the best.

Chapter Text

It takes a bit of maneuvering - Katsuki ditching Kirshima and Kaminari at the carnival games after goading them on into Plus Ultra! levels of competitiveness, Izuku carefully leaving his friends behind as they force Todoroki to try every flavor of slurpee - to find themselves alone.

Well, as alone as they can get in an amusement park filled with dozens upon dozens of people, a "fun day" for U.A. students after yet another semester of trials and horror. The duo walk, shoulder to shoulder, hands brushing past each other from time to time, fingers touching but not willing to link up, not when they weren't sure of what eyes were on them.

It's comfortable though - they share a cone of cotton candy, making their way across the different areas. Katsuki steers them both to the Science and Space Land, just in time to find themselves in the middle of a water fountain show, water sparkling against the afternoon soon. Izuku laughs in delight, pulling Katsuki into the spray. They dry themselves off with a trip on the inverted roller coaster (and then again, as the rush of wind flying past them as they cut through the sky makes the adrenaline junkies in them sing). Maybe it's cliche, but they take a ride on the ferris wheel, sharing a chaste kiss at the top where they know they won't be seen.

Too soon, the two break apart, leaving that part of the park to meet back up with friends. Later, on the bus ride back to the campus and their dorms, Iida turns around in his seat to confront Izuku directly, asking where he went halfway through their day. Izuku smiles in response, "I saw a good show," and leaves it at that.