Disclaimer: Oda owns all. I adore him. Yes.

Notes: For theme #8 at 30kisses, our own world. AU.

You are brilliant. You breeze through school without any troubles, and your teachers all adore you, smart handsome perfect Portgas D. Ace. Your peers fawn over you and look to you for everything, and you do not need anything.

Your teachers are all surprised when your brother appears in their classes. To them, your brother is nothing like you, but you know that he is just like you.

They tell your parents that your brother is…slow to grasp things. You know better than anyone that Luffy is not stupid. He just…believes in other things. The things that matter in life, really, and you think that Luffy should belong in some other world, some place where he can actually do something about everything in his head instead of having to learn things that don't matter to him.

But you are glad that he is your little brother because you don't know how you would live without ever knowing him.

Shanks arrives in your town without warning and changes everything.

You are jealous. For the first time, Luffy's eyes are on someone else, someone who is not you, and although you admire Shanks yourself, you want Luffy to always only see you, you who have been there since he was born.

He comes home with a wound underneath his left eye one day, and when you ask him what happened, he tells you that he tried to get Shanks to take him with him. You hate this, the way only Shanks is in his eyes these days, but you clean the wound anyway and tell Luffy not to do stupid things like this in the future. Your mom makes a big fuss about it when she sees, but Luffy just shrugs it off, like it's no big matter.

He creeps into your room that night and climbs into your bed, and he whispers into your ear that it had hurt and thanks you for taking care of it. He falls asleep wrapped around you, and you know you shouldn't feel triumphant, but he shows only you his vulnerable side, the most precious side of him.

Shanks saves Luffy's life and loses his left arm.

You are grateful to him, and you thank him the next time you see him. He laughs everything off and says that it was no big deal, but then, he leans in and tells you to treasure what you have. You freeze, and when you recover, he has already walked away. You wonder if he means what you think he means, and you wonder how he knows. How he knows about what you feel, and how he knows that you have Luffy, not him.

Luffy cries the day Shanks leaves. You stand in the back of the crowd, and when Shanks is too far away to be seen, Luffy runs home, hands clutched tightly around Shank's hat. You think that Shanks is wrong. You have seen the way Luffy looks at Shanks, and he has never looked that way at you.

The night before you are to leave for university, Luffy comes into your room. It's not that he doesn't come to your room at night because he does at times, when he's had a nightmare that's worse than usual or wants to tell you something or when you do something nice for him, but he has never come before you turn off your lights.

You are surprised. Then he is kissing you, and when you draw away from him, the expression in his eyes is new to you. You have never seen it before, but it is raw and powerful and passionate and needy, so much more that what you have seen when it's Shanks, and you think that maybe Shanks did know what he was talking about. Maybe you just fooled yourself into thinking that you didn't see it because you didn't think you would ever see it, and you think that he must have waited for you forever, you, the brilliant one, to see what has always been right in front of your eyes.

You had been there when he was born. Maybe you shouldn't have expected anything else.

You do not have sex with him even though you want to, even though he wants you to and asks you. He is only fourteen. You can't, not with him this young. But the two of you wrap around each other, with no beginning and no end, and it's like the two of you are meant for this. You have never thought that this is wrong, and you never will.

When it tears at you blindly because you do not have him, it cannot be wrong. You do not care about society and its expectations, not when it concerns your brother. You never have because he is beyond this world and its limitations.

Besides, you should know what is best for yourself.

You look back at him until you can no longer see him. You think that the next time you see him, you will know what to do. Because he is Luffy, whom you have known almost your entire life, and although you do not understand him, you know how he is. You know what he likes and what he wants and what he believes much better than anyone else, especially his many friends, because there is a part of your heart that is the exact same as his.

You see him again at a university you are both visiting for different reasons, and although he is surrounded by friends, he comes to you straight away with no hesitation. He has grown, but besides that, he is still the same brother you know.

That night, you press your love into his skin over and over again, and he says I love you into your lips when you kiss him. It is not your first time, but you have never felt so keenly before, felt yourself utterly consumed by your own passion and need and love and his skin, mouth, hair against yours. But then, you have only ever loved him like this. You will only ever love him like this.