In a futuristic science fiction, in which hundreds of races have made contact with one another, an almost-immortal alien (thanks to billions of years of post-singularity technology) is preparing to unleash his superweapon on the universe: a colossal array of artificial planets, each bearing a mechanism to accelerate two massive pieces of condensed matter (think neutron star-level) to several times the speed of light, colliding them together. The resulting release of energy is powerful enough to overcome the energy required for the false vacuum to collapse to its lowest state. Because of various MacGuffins, the speed of light is not a boundary, and this apocalyptic event would occur at every single point of existence simultaneously. The result is, quite literally, the end of all existence.
However, enter The Heroes. They have been uncovering the villain's plot to destroy the universe (as an act of fanaticism; "the false existence must be purged"), and have found the artificial world that he uses for a base of operations, which also happens to be a doomsday weapon. They fight and subsequently vanquish the villain — and thanks to his habit of forcing his oversight on everything he does, the weapons cannot activate without his presence, rendering them inert. Everybody involved, including the presumably millions of soldiers required to aid their assault on the villain's stronghold world, knows full and well that, had that small team of Heroes not done what they had when they had done it, the universe would have ended in an instant; there is no denying that these Heroes have quite literally saved the universe.
... so, what happens next?
I'm going for as much realism as possible, save for the instances where the currently known axioms of existence, such as the universal speed limit of light, are broken on many levels by the villain, and few by The Heros and society in general, thanks to "major advances in technology". In the real world, any major event is surrounded by an influx of media coverage and lasting effects on individuals across the world, such as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. I'm wondering how our Heroes would fare after their work is complete; would they live out the rest of their lives in fame, surrounded by the press? Would they take their bows and vanish? Would they quietly excuse themselves from the event completely, purposefully (or through coercion) passing their success to their military as a whole? Would their government promote them? Honorably discharge them? Give them the choice? Would their direct involvement be covered up?
If the Heroes are recognized for their deeds, then there is no possible way that anyone anywhere could construe the story in any direction but the Heroes' favor; they saved the universe, and everyone in it.
The Heroes worked for a secretive intergovernmental agency that was brought to the public light by a series of allegations of corruption, false imprisonment, etc. They were cast out and declared as traitors, but were fully reinstated months later when the hierarchy was replaced.
Members of the Heroes may have varying opinions on how to handle the attention, should they opt to take individual routes instead of deciding as a team the best course of action.
A villain creates a superweapon that can destroy the universe. A small group of soldiers kills the villain and destroys the weapon moments before activation. How does the universe react to their heroism, and how do the Heroes react to the potential responses?