ace internalized so much negative stuff about himself that it’s insane, like. everything he did was to find a purpose, to protect the ones he loved (bc they are the only reason he is somewhat worthy of life), to be enough, to be worth it. all he ever did was to try and figure out if he deserved to be born.
he was drowning in self hatred and yet -
god, he loved luffy so much. luffy was his whole world when they were kids. he protected luffy from garp, stood up to him, trained w him and saved him from drowning countless times.
and even when they grew up and chose their separated paths, still he worried & cared so much about luffy. the scene of him showing luffy’s wanted poster to shirohige is just so amazing bc look at that!!! proud older bro in action!!! how he looked for luffy everywhere while he was travelling just to find him, so he could see he was okay.
im rambling but i guess what im trying to say is: ace hated himself a whole load, but in contrast he loved luffy so much - all the love he didn’t have for himself, he poured into his younger brother. and when luffy was in danger, he didn’t think twice about it.
because he loved luffy more than he ever could love himself.