Somewhere To Belong

First Island Adventure

Luffy sat on the railing of the ship swinging his feet back and forth watching as the island in the distance grew closer. He was really excited to have an adventure. Shanks and his crew used to tell him that there was an adventure on every island you visited. He just hoped that Ace and Sabo would go with him. They had both been busy lately.

Sabo and Shark Guy seemed to have a lot in common, or at least they liked to talk a lot.

It was boring.

Thatch would come almost every day and invite them to do something with him. Luffy would occasionally join in but it was obvious that the man liked spending time with Ace more than Luffy and he didn't want to get in the way of anyone's fun. When Luffy said he didn't want to play them, the man would usually drag Ace off to pull some prank on someone leaving Luffy alone with the command to stay in the cabin.

He hated being alone.

Luffy shook his head to shake away the sad thoughts.

He was happy that Ace and Sabo had friends. He just wished that they would ask him to play with them sometimes without the grownups. The only times he had seen his big brothers this week was when it was time to eat and bed time. His brothers hadn't even spent time with him fishing. They now spent most of their meals eating in the galley which was fun, there was lots of good food and the people were interesting, but they were all really busy during the day and none of them really had time to talk to Luffy.

He watched the horizon for another hour as the island grew closer and closer before the ship docked. He hopped off the railing and ran to the front of the ship where he finally found Thatch and Ace talking.

"Ace!" he called. "Can we go explore the island? It will be a fun adventure." He smiled at his big brother.

"Didn't I tell you to stay in the room?" Ace demanded before sighing. "We were just looking for you. Thatch and Namur are going to go with us. We just need to wait for him and Sabo."

Luffy felt his heart sink knowing that the pirates were going to come with them. He was really hoping to spend some time with his brothers. "Oh okay."

"Ace! Oh good you found him," Sabo called before coming to stand with his brothers smiling down at Luffy. "You ready to go?"

Luffy nodded as Ace threw up a fist and yelled "Yeah! Let's go!"

He smiled. It was nice to see Ace so excited.

"Are you alright Luffy?" Sabo asked looking concerned.

He blinked up at his brother. "Yeah, I'm good," he smiled.

"Then let's go," Ace said grabbing Sabo and Luffy by the arms and dragged them off the ship with Thatch and Shark Guy following close behind.

"Oi! Thatch! Wait up!" a voice called.

Luffy looked behind them to see Pineapple Head coming their way. "Mind if I join you?" he asked looking toward the other adults.

"The more the merrier," Thatch said. "Right?"

"I guess he can come," Sabo said looking disinterested.

"As long as he doesn't kill the fun," Ace added.

Pineapple Head looked offended. "I do not kill the fun!"

"Yes you do," Sabo and Ace answered at once.

Luffy laughed.

"You think that's funny do you?" Pineapple Head asked glaring at him.

"Yup," the boy chirped cheering up because he was with his brothers, even if the grownups did have to come with them it would still be fun.

Pineapple Head sighed. "Well I guess I'll just have to change your minds then won't I?"

"Like you could," Ace said crossing his arms.

"You're all about work. Therefore you don't know how to have fun," Sabo stated.

"Just because I'm responsible doesn't mean I don't know how to have fun," he stated as the five started walking leaving Luffy behind.

He frowned before running after them.

Great they were forgetting about him again.

"You guys should stay close!" Thatch called out to Ace and Sabo about an hour after they left the ship. The two boys were a little ahead of the rest of the group and were looking around.

"We'll be fine. This place kind of feels like home doesn't it Sabo?" Ace asked loudly so that the pirates could hear. The island had a massive forest on it that was filled with familiar bugs and animals.

Luffy hoped that there were no wolves on this island. Or monkeys. He was tired of monkeys. They were really hard to beat. And wolves were hard to outrun.

He didn't bother telling anyone this. It's not like they cared anyway. The adults just wanted to talk to Ace and Sabo and his brothers were more interested in exploring than they were in spending time with him.

Luffy looked off into the trees and saw something shiny. Maybe it was gold. He turned to tell the others but they were already too far for him to call after them.

Oh well.

He looked back towards the trees before smiling to himself. He was going to have an adventure and see what that shiny thing was. Maybe it would be gold.

He took off running to see what the shiny thing was. Unfortunately it wasn't gold. It was just a shiny whistle. He thought it was interesting so he picked it up and put it in his pocket before looking around to see where he was. It was just the forest still with nothing interesting but he could hear a river somewhere ahead of him. He let himself smile before making his way towards the rushing water. There was always something interesting next to a river.


Sabo was having fun. It had been nearly two months since they had been forced to leave home and he was enjoying running around the forest with his brothers and their pirate friends.

He felt himself smile. He couldn't remember the last time he was this happy. He had his brothers safe and sound and they had made new friends. Namur was really cool to hang out with. He had lots of interesting things to talk about and he was even teaching him about fishman karate he said that he would even try to adapt it a bit so that Sabo could learn a little. Thatch was a lot of fun to hang out with and was teaching him and Ace how to pull the perfect prank.

Marco was alright.

He was just too serious sometimes.

Sabo paused in walking feeling like something was missing. He looked around not quite able to place what was wrong. He look towards Ace who was looking around with a confused look on his face.

"Something wrong?" Namur asked.

"Yes," Ace answered automatically.

"Something's missing," Sabo added looking behind them to see Marco, Thatch, and Namur all looking at them. Wait. It was just the three pirates. Then where was- It was then that horror struck him. How could he have not noticed it before?!

"What's missing?" Marco asked.

"LUFFY!" Ace yelled before he could answer.

"LUFFY WHERE ARE YOU?!" Sabo screamed feeling panic rise. They were on a strange island in the Grand Line and Luffy was missing. Not thinking, he took off running in the direction they had just come from Ace close behind him.

"Hey wait!" he heard Thatch and the others call after them.

"LUFFY!" Sabo didn't care about them right now he just had one thing on his mind.

"AHHHH!"

Sabo felt his heart stop.

No no no no no. He changed direction to go towards where he was sure the scream was coming from. The last time they had heard a scream like that, Luffy had been attacked by a wolf that he hadn't been able to outrun.

He had almost died.

They broke through the trees just in time to see a massive alligator, bigger than any of the ones they had seen before, swallow Luffy whole.

"Luffy!" Ace called.

"Did he just get eaten?" Sabo heard Thatch ask in horror.

"Oh Pops is not going to be happy," Marco said.

"Not again," Sabo sighed before glaring at the creature.

"This has happened before?" Namur asked shocked.

The two boys ignored the adults and instead focused all their attention on the alligator that had dared eat their little brother. They didn't have their pipes with them but it should be okay. They were stronger than the last time Luffy had been eaten.

"You stupid gator give me back my brother," Ace yelled before running in, fists flying.

Sabo joined him jumping into the air and landing on the stupid animal's head with a kick. He felt the gator start to roll and jumped off landing next to Ace.

"Wait a second," Thatch said grabbing them by the arms. "Don't take on something you can't handle."

Ace pulled his arm forcefully away. "We can handle this. That thing just ate our brother and we will be getting him back."

"Luffy was swallowed whole so all we have to do is get him out before he's digested and he'll be fine," Sabo stated.

Neither boy noticed as Marco stepped in front of the other two pirates and held out an arm telling them to wait.

They launched their next attack both aiming a kick at the head. It was enough to knock the creature out. "I thought that was going to be harder," Ace said kicking it in the head for good measure.

"Y-you just took out an alligator with no weapons," Thatch said looking surprised.

"We need to figure out how to get him out," Sabo said turning to his brother ignoring the man.

"Right we don't have any knives to cut him out this time."

"Here, I'll get him out," Marco said pulling out a knife.

"NO!" Ace moved in front of the alligator arms spread out. There was a chance that Marco would cut Luffy. "We'll do it!"

Ace took the knife away from the pirate with a glare. "Make sure it doesn't move," he told Sabo pointing to the alligator.

"Right."

Five minutes later Luffy crawled out, wet and dripping with the gastric juices and blood.

"You alright, Lu?" Sabo asked. He wanted to hug his brother but was too disgusted at the moment. For some reason this time was so much worse than the last. He briefly had to wonder why that was.

"I-I w-was so scared," he cried loudly tears running down his face increasing Sabo's desire to hug him. "I di-didn't think you, you, were going to-to g-get me out."

"What the hell were you doing by yourself?" Ace demanded. "It's dangerous wander around alone."

"I-I'm sorry. A-a-ace and S-Sabo were busy and I-I-I just wan-wanted to see what the shiny thing was!"

"You wanted to see what the shiny thing was?" Sabo questioned.

Luffy didn't respond except to let out another wail. "Stop crying already!" Ace yelled grabbing onto his hair. Sabo was sure that he was physically having to stop himself from hitting Luffy.

The little brother sniffed a few times before clamping his lips together. It was obvious he still wanted to cry more.

"Calm down already," Sabo said. "You're okay."

"Is he alright?" Sabo jumped at the question. Somehow he had forgotten about the others with them. He turned to see their new friends looking at Luffy with concern.

This was partially their fault. If they hadn't been distracting them and making noise then Sabo would have noticed Luffy was missing a lot sooner. He and Ace would have found him and Luffy would have never been eaten.

"He's fine," Sabo said stiffly.

"Are you sure? He's still crying," Marco said looking at Luffy

"He said he's fine." Ace barked. "Now leave!"

"B-but Ace, we just want to help," Thatch said raising his hands as if to ward off Ace's anger.

"We don't need your help," Ace snapped. "We can take care of our brother by ourselves. Besides this would have never happened if you weren't here! Leave!"

The three pirates looked struck.

"Namur, Thatch, you heard them. Let's go." Marco grabbed the other two and pulled them away.

Sabo watched as they left feeling slightly guilty. They looked like they genuinely wanted to help but he couldn't risk it. He couldn't risk Luffy's safety. They may have been nice but that didn't mean that they could be trusted.

Despite how gross Luffy was at the moment Sabo grabbed one of his hands and started pulling down stream. "Come on let's go find a shallow part of the river so that we can get you cleaned up."

It only took fifteen minutes to find a part of the river that was deep enough that Luffy could get clean but shallow enough where he couldn't drown. Sabo sat in the river with Luffy making sure that he got cleaned properly. This was relaxing for Luffy and fulfilled Sabo's need to hug his brother all in one. Ace stood on the bank of the river looking for any potential threats and making sure that no pirates wandered onto the scene and noticed the effect that the water had on Luffy. The last thing that they needed was someone to get suspicious and start to suspect that he had eaten a devil fruit.

Luffy's now wet clothes were drying over a fire that he had built.

"Luffy, what did you mean that me and Ace were too busy?" Sabo asked running his fingers through his brother's hair dragging out some of the alligator goo and rinsing his hand in the water.

"You and Ace are always with your new friends," he shrugged tiredly. "You wanted to explore with them and that's okay. I just wanted to have an adventure."

Sabo thought back over the past week. He had been with Namur a lot lately and come to think of it Ace had been with Thatch most of the time. That meant that they had left their simple minded, naive, innocent, trusting little brother alone on a pirate ship surrounded by potential enemies.

What were they thinking?

Sabo looked towards the shore to see Ace sitting with clenched fists and knew that he had similar thoughts.

They had left Luffy, who had told them that being alone was the worse than being tortured, all by himself all because they were excited to be on a pirate ship and that they had actually making friends with some of the crew.

It was inexcusable.

"I'm sorry Luffy. I didn't mean to leave you alone," Sabo said sadly. He truly was very sorry.

"Me too." They looked up to see Ace standing next them. He had at some point removed his shoes and was now standing in the water. He reached down and pulled and now clean Luffy up and helped him towards shore.

They were forced to dress him in semi-damp clothes, but that was alright- because the weather was warm, they would dry quickly and it was better than him being exposed to the elements. Luffy, of course, complained that he didn't like wearing the damp, cold clothes.

"Get over it," Ace said before kneeling down in a silent offer to carry Luffy as a silent apology for making him wear damp clothes. The little brother jumped at the chance and happily climbed onto his big brother's back. Ace made sure that he was secure before they started walking along the river back to where they came from, figuring it would be the easiest way to find the ship. "You won't have to worry about being alone anymore," the older brunette stated five minutes later. "I'm not going to hang out with Thatch anymore."

"And I'm not going to spend time with Namur."

"What? I thought they were your friends," Luffy seemed distressed.

"They are, were, but you're more important than them," Sabo stated.

"No! I like that you have friends. Ace smiles when he plays with Thatch and Sabo has fun talking to the shark guy. I-I don't mind being a-alone if Ace and Sabo are happy," he said with a heart breakingly sad smile. Sabo knew that he wasn't lying, Luffy couldn't lie to save his life, but it was obvious he was distressed about the idea of being alone.

"We'll see what happens," Sabo said with a smile of his own, hoping to cheer Luffy up just a little bit. He knew that he personally wouldn't let Luffy leave his side for a long while.

They were surprised when they reached the alligator to find three pirates cooking the meat from their kill.

"Hey," Thatch greeted turning some of the meat on the fire. "We thought you might be hungry so we decided to cook this guy up for you."

Sabo stared. Hadn't they just yelled at them to leave them alone? Why were they here?

"Didn't we tell you to leave us alone?" Ace demanded coldly.

The pirate looked hurt.

"Ace. Don't," Luffy said quietly. "He's fun to play with. Don't be mad at him. It wasn't his fault I got swallowed. It was mine."

Sabo sighed. As much as he wanted to, and previously did, blame the pirates for what happened it wasn't their fault. It was his and Ace's for not paying attention. And Luffy's for wandering off.

"What Ace means is thank you for your thoughtfulness. We are starving and would love to eat some lunch. Right Ace?"

"Whatever."

He put Luffy on the ground before making his way towards the fire and sitting down, making sure he wasn't sitting next to Thatch. Luffy automatically sat next to Ace and Sabo sat on the other side of the little brother making sure to just look at the fire and not at any of the pirates. It was an awkward fifteen minutes before Marco handed them each some meat.

"Thanks, Pineapple Head."

Thatch and Namur snickered.

"My name is Marco."

"Right."

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