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Just One More

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Anyone who knows one can tell you that those who carry the Legacy of D are odd, but few are odd in the same way that another is odd. But very, very few could tell you why. The truth is one that not even all D’s realize exists, for not all Gifts are as obvious as other gifts. 

This story could be to tell you of Gol D Roger and how he could see the outcome of every action he took until the point of his death. Thus leading him to choose to die when he did, so that the world did not learn that he was sick, did not learn that he was weak and use that to attack, and tear down those that he loved. 

This story could tell you of Portgas D Rouge who could shape truth out of every statement. How she honed her gift so that she rewrote the memories of the world in that everyone knew a full-term pregnancy would last twenty months, most are just born premature at nine. 

This story could tell you of Monkey D Luffy whose sight could see those that he could build up, help, and make better. Who he could affect positively. 

But no, this story looks at Monkey D Garp, who has the worst Gift of them all. Who can endlessly relive his life. Always beginning anew at a random point not of his choosing, but always going back when he dies. He has died so many times. He has seen his loved ones die so many times.

The story of Monkey D Luffy searching for the One Piece declaring he would be the Pirate King. That story that so many know. That is Garp’s current life, and unfortunately the kindest timeline he has lived yet. 

 

Yes, Ace (his oldest grandson, not by blood but by heart and affection) may have died, but he got to live first. He got to learn what it means to feel a father’s love, what it means to have a family that cares, protects, and fights together. He got to make it out of teenage years, not by much no, but he reached an age that did not end in teen. There have been so many lives where he did not. In this life at least, he had no regrets and got to see so much of the world.

Sabo lived past his sperm donor's abuse, he got to meet Dragon and flourish under his care and tutelage. He got to find others who hated the Nobles and the government and moved against them. Yes, he lost his memory, no he never got to meet Ace again. But, he did get Ace’s fruit and he did get to see Luffy again. 

Luffy (Garp’s youngest grandson, his by blood and heart and affection) Garp got to see Luffy after he survived storming Eines Lobby. Garp got to see photos of him surviving Marineford. Garp got to see him grow, to help others, to be himself.

 

But he remembers so many lifetimes where they did not get these simple things. Where they were dead before they could grow up, where they were dead before they could live. 

 

Garp learned a simple formula for the boys, it took so many lives, so many deaths for him to learn how to get them to survive childhood, but he did. 

He learned that the further back the more careful he had to be if he wanted to give his grandsons the best lives possible. Too far and it was easy to accidentally stop them from being born . He learned quickly that all three needed to be born or tragedy would befall them much quicker. 

If Ace was raised without ever meeting Sabo he would not learn kindness or appreciation for the life of another. Where Sabo would convince him not to kill Luffy, Ace without Sabo would kill him or leave him to die. This Ace would set sail and die young. 

Sabo without Ace would die in the Gray Terminal. Sabo without an Ace to teach him to survive and who to knock around and leave alone until they had grown would not survive long enough in the Terminal to learn on his own. 

And Luffy. Loneliness really is that boys weakness and without brothers he would grow brittle. He would have no strength to lean on. To teach him what Garp couldn’t. There would be no Marineford to teach him that going straight to the New World would be a death sentence that’s if he survived the loneliness of childhood however.

Garp learned quickly that his grandsons needed each other if they were going to survive.

 

And these weren’t their only deaths either, weren’t the only ways that it could go wrong so early. 

 

Garp remembers a life where he came back to Dawn in the honor guard of a Celestial Dragon to find not just the Gray Terminal burned but the bandits of the forest and all other denizens killed. Simply because the bandits had made too much of a fuss over the burning of the Terminal and got in the way of beautifying the city for the visit. 

 

There is another life where when Outlook came for Sabo there was no exchange of come and they will live, it was just come they are already dead. Outlook’s people killed his grandsons before they could fight back, Sabo lived to spite his father in this life. He joined the Revolution and burned down Goa and Marie Joise. But Garp remembered their deaths. 

 

Or even a life where Outlook caught Sabo when he was on his way to his little dinghy. Letter already sent to Ace, and Outlook decided that if his eldest was going to be such a failure, well he already had a replacement and it would keep the rabble in line to have a reminder of why they shouldn’t work against him. Sabo’s corpse was displayed after the Dragon had left to show that no one is above his power. Garp loves the grandson he so rarely gets to meet but flourishes under his son’s hand. There are just so many ways it can go wrong, and Garp hates every single one of them. 

 

Despite his memories, despite trying to save them, he couldn’t. Something always went wrong. Because he remembered lives where Ace became a Marine. Where Garp would have promised his oldest grandson that the marines would not betray one of their own because to Garp that would be unspeakable

He would still remind him not to talk about Roger, but Ace has always craved acceptance, absolution. For someone he respects to say that he is more than his blood. That was his mistake. He asked his question of the wrong person and Garp could not kill the rumors before they reached the Gorosei. Everyone knew that Ace was his grandson. They could not hide that he knew. Garp could not save himself. He could not save his grandson.

 

There is a reason that Garp’s hatred of Shanks seems to be greater than just convincing his grandson to be a pirate. It is. Because Garp remembers so much more . He remembers what it means that Luffy is a pirate but it took very few lives for him to realize how much of a lynchpin Luffy is too. 

He remembers lives where Shanks was too slow to keep his grandson alive in the sea. He remembers lives where Shanks had multiple devil fruits with him in Makino’s pub and Luffy kept eating . He remembers lives where Luffy aimed just a bit higher when trying to prove himself. 

He remembers lives where Luffy walked into the forest to live with Ace and never walked out again . He remembers lives where he did not have the strength necessary to beat his early opponents. He remembers watching Alabasta fall cause Luffy was never there, or did not get there in time. He remembers lives where he barrels straight ahead into the New World. Into his own grave. He remembers lives where he was too strong too early, where he was too much of a threat too soon. 

 

Garp remembers. He tries to adjust. He does not want to see his grandson fall. He does not want to see their bodies again

 

Garp has looked at the most recent life he has lived, seen where his grandsons have succeeded, where they have not, and promises himself. One more. One more life to make it all better. One more life to see them live.