Please read note at the bottom.


Chapter One: Welcome to the World


It was warm.

She did not hunger.

She could not breathe, but it was okay. She didn't have to.

Someone was singing.

Never had she been this content before.

She slept.


The darkness around her pulsed and pulsed and pulsed as she twisted and turned and rearranged her body. The wetness in her lungs was beginning to make itself apparent, as it was supposed to do. She could not breathe yet, but there was no rush.

A squeeeeze of her head and she was out, wet and pink and out, and oh, it was so free out here.

She smiled.

The remaining fluid was sputtered out with a little help from someone she couldn't see and then she took her first breath. It was cold.

As if in tandem to her thoughts, a warm hand began to pat her down with a soft cloth before wrapping her up in another. She was lifted into arms that clutched with a strength only belied by the way they trembled.

"Come closer, my love... it's our child. Our daughter."

She knew that voice. It had sung to her often, had spoken softly of darlings and loves and dreams. She blearily blinked open her eyes.

Just a few scant inches away was the face of a woman, hallowed but beautiful. Sharp, tapered jaw line and high, thin brows and a straight nose. Her damp brown hair fell in waves framing pale cheeks and large, soulful brown eyes. The woman felt like mother.

The woman was crying.

Why are you sad? she wanted to ask. Don't be sad. Don't cry.

What came out instead were a series of snuffles, so she settled instead for smiling the biggest smile she could manage, her eyes nearly crinkling shut with the effort. She must have done something wrong though, because the woman began to cry harder, even as she smiled back.

"Look, she even has your smile."

Shadows shifted as a dark shape emerged from their embrace. "She's so small..."

She knew this voice too. It had spoken of revolution and apology and promise, of I will make things better, I will change things, for you for us for the child.

"She's beautiful. Our beautiful little Luffy. Won't you hold her?"

The shadow flinched. "I can't, not with these hands... I don't deserve—"

"Your daughter wants to be held, can't you see?" Luffy – was that her name? But she was so sure her name was something else... And this name, Luffy, was one that she knew, she knew, but it was not hers, except now it was – obligingly lifted her pudgy baby arms and made grabbing motions towards the cloaked man. "Please, Dragon."

Dragon – and this name was one she also knew, but where, how? – hesitantly stepped closer and a large, tanned hand emerged from the dark folds of his cloak. A single finger stroked her cheek. It was warm. Her head automatically turned toward it and she burbled happily.

His stiff shoulders visibly relaxed and when the woman – mother – pushed Luffy to him, he reached out to cradle her properly.

"Hello, little one," he said to her. A squared, firm jaw became apparent from the shadows of his mantle and a gentle smile curled the corners of his mouth. She grinned back at him with toothless gums.

"See? Nothing to worry about..."

But even as Mother said that, shouting began to erupt from outside the wooden walls. Gunshots. Her eyesight was still limited to several inches, but something bright began to blaze outside the window. For a brief moment, the shadows underneath Dragon's – father's – cowl lifted, revealing a face that she had never seen with these eyes, but knew all the same: Monkey D. Dragon, leader of the Revolutionaries. He lacked the distinctive red tattoos, but it was him all the same, and she did not understand, this wasn't possible...

His smile dissolved like a wisp of smoke. "They've found us."


A chorus of yipping sounded from outside.


Mother's face was cast in grim relief. "That means they don't know about Luffy... Thank god..."

"I'll hold them off. Hide her." Father tried to push Luffy into Mother's arms, but the woman would have none of that.

"No, Dragon, let me! They might hesitate to shoot me, but you—"

"You're in no condition to fight their soldiers. Just focus on keeping the both of you alive." He settled her in the blankets collected at the foot of the bed, and turned to leave. Before he could, a pale hand shot out and grabbed the neck of his cloak. Mother leaned over her and tugged Father down into a desperate kiss.

"Don't die, Dragon. I love you!"

"I will try. I... love you too."

With that, Father rushed out of their small cabin, a cloud of fabric billowing in his wake. Mother's blurry figure barricaded the door and turned to her, strained features coming back into crisp focus as she ran to the bed with a rifle in hand. She pushed the side of the bed frame until it was a couple of feet to the left of where it had been, and Luffy turned in her bundle to see what the woman was doing. Though her instincts demanded it, she carefully did not cry and fuss, because she had managed to gather that her existence was to be a secret from those who were shouting outside the wooden walls.

The woman had managed to scrape off a layer of the packed dirt floor to reveal what appeared to be an expanse of dull, grainy gray to her undeveloped eyes. A square slab of it was lifted up, and then another silver trap door, and Mother's hand disappeared into the darkness to fumble at something.

Light suddenly illuminated the inside of what Luffy now realised to be a hidden bunker. Mother grabbed her and the wet, lightly blooded sheets atop the bed and hurried down what had to be a set of stairs. The fabrics were discarded haphazardly on the floor but she herself was tucked carefully into a pre-prepared crib with soft blankets and stuffed animals and little infant toys. Luffy glanced around to see that the rest of the room was filled with boxes and crates and chests and barrels, as well as the looming, blurred form of a large dresser. Something that looked like a small kitchen was shoved into the back corner. The cabin above had been almost barren, but this place was filled to the brim, all of it probably food and clothes and other necessary supplies. If they were being hunted, she could understand the precaution.

Mother placed a bottle of something warm beside her in the crib and bent over her, shaking hands smoothing the blankets snugly over Luffy's body.

"Be free, my child. Be freer than your father and I were, freer than anyone else in the world." A dull crash resounded from the door of the cabin above. Mother tucked the blanket around her one final time, her movements soft but rushed. "Always remember that I love you now and will love you always. I will be watching you and your father from heaven." Cracked, shuddering lips pressed themselves against her forehead. "Welcome to the world, Monkey D. Luffy."

She could see Mother stand up, her rifle in hand, and run out to shut the metal lid of the bunker. She heard the stone slab being dragged over the opening, heard dull thuds that must have been dirt being kicked back to cover the discrepancies, the groaning of the bed being pushed back. For a few moments there was nothing. And then the ringing silence was shattered by a great crash and a hoarse, wrathful scream, thudding bodies and the booming reports of gunshots, echoing through the underground like a nightmare.

Her heart ached.

It felt as if she'd lost something she didn't even get the chance to have.

Tears dribbled down her rounded face, though she remained dutifully silent. For the first time since gaining cognizance in this new world, Monkey D. Luffy cried.

Hours later, Luffy was awakened by a banging noise. Temperamental tears sprang to her eyes as she grumbled at the interruption of her sleep.

Heavy footsteps thudded down the steps and a large man with wild salt and pepper hair came into sight. As he approached the crib, individual features became more pronounced, as did the moisture gathering in the crinkles branching from his dark eyes. She knew this face too – Monkey D. Garp, Hero of the Marines, grandfather of Luffy. Her grandfather. He lifted her from her bed and held her at eye level, studying her features with a grin. She gurgled and stretched out a plump little hand.

He laughed at this, deep and booming. "So even my stupid son can have such a cute kid. It must be your mother's genes!" But then the outburst of mirth came to an abrupt end and the tears collected in the corner of his eyes suddenly spilled over. "That stupid, stupid idiot of a boy. If he had just come to me first... Trying to do everything on his own, and look where that got him!"

Luffy's brows scrunched and she tried to pat his cheeks dry with her palms, even as responding tears sprang to her own eyes. It hurt, to see a powerful man breaking down like this.

But his tears only came faster. "Dragon, you damned fool! How can you entrust your child to me, when I couldn't even protect you and your wife? I'm so sorry I can't even look my damn son in the eye!"

Luffy whined and her lower lip began to tremble.

"Ah! No! Don't cry!"

How can you start sobbing in front of a newborn and then tell her not to cry, you dummy?! Luffy thought, as she bawled her distress for the world to hear.

They must have been quite a sight; a tiny newborn and a large, graying man, standing in the middle of an underground bunker crying their eyes out, their only bond gone off to wage war on the world.

Luffy tired first, her cries fading to soft breaths as exhaustion took hold of her once more. As she nodded off in the cradle of her grandfather's elbow, she heard him saying, "I swear to you, Dragon, I won't let Luffy's happiness be torn away like your wife was. Even though I couldn't stop all of this, Luffy at least..."

The next time she awoke to the groaning of a ship's timbers. The sea sang a soft, rushing lullaby and the waves rocked her little crib in an attempt to lure her back to sleep, but there were more important matters at hand. She coughed in discomfort at her hoarse throat, and thought it strange, because she'd always been a very quiet crier before... before... before what, exactly?

This was not her first life, of this she was sure. She had memories of another, a place where supernations waged war with the energy of split atoms and the planet that sustained them was called Earth and perhaps both least and most important, such things called 'manga' existed, pictures and words that told stories of different worlds.

How could she be Luffy? The entire story was carried on the back of his charisma, his ability to attract people and their unfaltering loyalty. How could she possibly do such a thing? She had never been much of a people person, not anything near enough to even try to emulate what Luffy was.

In her Before... The way she was Before, it had made her uncomfortable to be disliked, made her anxious, made life difficult, and so she usually hadn't been anything less than polite, pleasant, amiable, with a grin and a friendly word to share with those who approached her. But it had also been rare for her to reach out her hand farther than that hesitant wave, rare for her to attempt to deepen those bonds into anything more than friendly acquaintanceships. Because if being hated had been difficult, maintaining the close bonds that wrapped Luffy like a warm shawl could be soul-suckingly exhausting, the effort of making herself interesting for them, conversing about things that they would care to converse about, hiding the parts of herself than she knew would be scorned – it had worn her down to her bare bones. She and the greater part of society had always seemed to be out of sync, somehow, and trying to change herself to catch up every time she ventured outside had almost been too much to handle.

So, if nothing else, she had always admired Luffy's ability to be oblivious to everything he felt was unnecessary. He was led by his heart and his fists, and that was exactly what she had wanted in life, to be comfortable in her own skin, to be able to ignore all the derisive scoffs, to charge forth with only her own determination and prevail against all odds. That tough hide of his was a gift that she wished had been bequeathed to her as well.

And now...


And now she was Luffy, though apparently a female version of him.

Then, perhaps... perhaps, instead of worrying and worrying and worrying that she couldn't live up to his character, perhaps she could instead see this as an opportunity to be the fearless warrior that she had always wanted to be. She had the story line on her side, after all; the Plot Matrix wasn't so weak that a few different actions here and there would change the tale overly much.

She could be who she wanted; she would be who she wanted. Being who she 'had to be' had hurt her, had killed her inside, had made her relieved about her own death, accident though it was. No more. She had a second chance, this time. She had a second chance to live her life the way she wanted to live her life, with her heart in everything she did, instead of bundled up in layers upon layers of protection. And this time, she was determined to enjoy life.

Yes, she decided. She wouldn't just act like Luffy, she would become Luffy – no.

Luffy would become her.

This was her life now, and so help anyone who said otherwise.

She was Monkey D. Luffy, and she would live life her way, foreknowledge or not.


Since the words 'self-insert' were turning a lot of people away, they were taken out of the summary because they don't fit the story well - the self-insert exists in the loosest sense: Luffy has received some of my memories (knowledge of the OP world) and a few of my traits that are common amongst people in general, such as the tendency to favour logic over brashness. Nothing else. The rest is all original Luffy in there (despite what she says above). If you can imagine Luffy being a girl, that is who I am writing about, not myself. Everyone will be in-character, and even those who have been affected by the changes to canon will react only such that their original character would have reacted to the same changes. :)

If you still can't get into it, c'est la vie.

Sol Invictus means Unconquered Sun in Latin. It's also the name of the Romans' official sun god. There will be more genderbending happening with a few minor characters - domino effects are very much in effect. (The main characters will remain the same, however, so no Portgas D. Ann or Namizou to be found here.) I will go straight into the manga from here on, with potential flashbacks. Yes there will be romance, inasmuch as a character such as Luffy is capable of experiencing, and the gruff men of One Piece are capable of displaying. Reverse harem? Maybe... Possibly... Yep.

(Edited August 2016.)

[09/04/16: beta'd by my lovely darling waifu Beribboned!]