A/N: Hellooo and welcome to this trainwreck! I was trying to write a summary for my other AkaYona fic, and the character didn't sound very much like the OC in it, and suddenly I had... this. I've only ever read one other SI-OC!Yona fic so I have no idea how these usually go, I just wanna be mean to Joo-doh and Il. And Hak. And Soo-won. Okay, I'm just in the mood to make everyone suffer.
The Hak/Soo-won comes in way later, as does Yona's eventual love interest. Or not. The first is established because they're cute and I love them, the second might never happen.
Anyways! Leave a fav/review if you're interested in more of this little plot bunny! (I say, as if I don't already have a whole timeline planned out...)
Yona is a good kid. Very calm, maybe overly mature. Then she realises she can cry on command. You know, as kids tend to. Then it's just... terrible.
It goes like this: she gets lost.
Only half of it is her fault. Or less. Or more. She thinks Hak bears most of the blame, but she did get separated from them, so…
It's her father's fault, actually, for never letting her see the town before. Yeah. That's why she's lost. Definitely not because she snuck out.
She exhales heavily and takes another look around the streets. Hak and Soo-won are nowhere to be seen, nor are there any soldiers she can bully and/or bribe into helping her. Then again, the soldiers of Kuuto are notorious for their heartfelt hatred for her father, so maybe that's for the best.
What's definitely not for the best is probably the fact that she can feel someone staring at her. Well, okay, she's definitely a concerning case; a kid wrapped up in expensive-looking clothes wandering around by herself, clearly lost, red hair a shining beacon. But she's some 60% certain this is not a look of sympathy. Unless her paranoia is getting the best of her, she's very clearly being followed.
So, her brilliant solution is to run down the street, get herself even more lost, and wind up at a dead end.
Sixteen years old or six, she feels very tempted to cry. With all the self-respect she does not possess, she turns around and finds a very suspicious man staring down at her. Tall, dark and mysterious, and extremely not in a good way.
Vaguely, and with awfully convenient timing, she remembers the one extra chapter in which a young red-haired princess goes out into town for the first time in her life, and nearly gets kidnapped.
She smiles very sweetly and runs past him.
The man freezes mid-sentence, having said something extremely suspect that she didn't care to listen to. She ducks under his arm while he seems relaxed and utterly unapologetic for following an unaccompanied kid into a narrow alley, only barely skipping out of reach of an outstretched hand. Everything about this man screams suspicious even without the overlapping vision of red hair and a small body tucked into a sack, roughly carted out of town and gone forever. Hak and Soo-won will always find Yona; she knows it like she knows her name, knows Kouka and the castle and everything they stand for, but. But she isn't Yona, so who will find her?
Likely no one, because she's a very uncute, problematic brat, so she runs.
She counts it a win that she doesn't trip and faceplant on the ground, but she does run straight into someone and fall flat on her back from the impact because she's so goddamned tiny, even for a six year old, so it isn't really much of one.
So, she's a kid. She just fell on the hard ground, and it hurt. She's also being chased by a stranger in an unknown place where she is suddenly all alone.
Naturally, she starts crying.
"Wha- huh?!" The man she bumped into is reasonably flustered, waving his hands around as he fumbles with his words. "Hey, hey, you alright, kid?!"
She mumbles a 'no' and cries harder. The man looks ready to faint on the spot.
Hak screams into the crowds, scrambling this way and that in search of telltale red hair and finding nothing. His heart thrums in his chest, fear and worry gnawing at his mind alongside the painful prick of guilt. The Princess has never been outside of the castle before and he's the one who insisted on sneaking out and now she's lost and won't people notice her? Everyone knows about the red-haired princess, especially so close to the castle, and royalty is always targeted. Soo-won is always accompanied by a guard. So is Yona, but he said it would be fine because he's here but now she's lost and all alone and he can't find her-
"Hak!" Soo-won pulls him back by his arm, snapping him out of his thoughts. "Calm down," he says, and Hak is so ready to snarl a response because what? The Princess is missing and you want me to calm down? but Soo-won's eyes are hard and his hands are firm. He takes a deep breath and listens. "I have an idea, follow me." He turns and leads him down the streets and Hak allows himself to be pulled along, forcing his breath to even out.
"Yona will be fine," Soo-won adds, even as he picks up his pace.
"You can't be so sure of that." He thinks of Princess Yona as he knows her, cooped up in the palace and spending so many days staring at the imposing stone walls, asking again and again and again about the world past them. Yona has never been alone.
Soo-won shakes his head. "I can. Yona is-" He cuts himself off when they turn a corner. "Oh! Mister Ogi! I was looking for you!"
Hak looks around to find the person Soo-won thinks can help them and sees-
A flash of red.
Yona looks up from the stick of dango she's munching on and blinks. "Hi."
"What the hell?!"
"Geez, kid, you should've just said the friend you were waiting for was Won." Mister Ogi is an old man with scraggly hair and a face Hak wants to punch. He waves casually at Soo-won and talks to him like they're old friends. Yona gets a similar treatment, though she's far meaner to him.
"I didn't know mister weird old man knew my cousin," she replies cheerily. She whines as Hak checks her over for injuries - "I'm fine, I just cried a lot!" That's not nearly as reassuring as she seems to think it is.
Soo-won beams at Hak and says, "See? I told you she'd be fine! Yona is cool."
"Yona is lucky," she corrects. "The creepy mister went away when the weird old man and his buddies bought me dango."
Hak whips around to face her. "The what?"
"The creepy mister?" she repeats. She licks her sticky fingers and frowns when they don't feel any less sticky. "He followed me for a while and tried to grab me. He didn't sound very nice."
Hak disappears after asking for a rough description of the creepy mister. Yona pretends she doesn't understand why.
Joo-doh is scary.
He gets all of five words into his building lecture about royal responsibilities and not endangering yourself and others needlessly before Yona starts bawling.
"Joo-doh is too scary!" Yes, we've established that. "You made Yona cry!" She's not sure which of the boys that is, but she's fairly certain Hak wouldn't be aware of how much emotional damage that would cause the man in question. Through her blurry vision and encroaching sense of oh god, that was actually so dangerous, she sees Joo-doh flinch and discreetly lower himself to appear less threatening.
She sniffs and refuses to stop crying until he resigns himself to carrying her all the way back to the castle. Yeah, this is the optimal kid privilege. Her pride is scarred but hey, she's six now. Who's gonna hold a little tantrum against a six-year-old? (Hak will. Hak definitely will. She needs to stock up on emotional blackmail material before he gets the chance.)
For now, she contents herself with causing Joo-doh immense distress and rubbing snot all over his clothes and calls it self-care. With every breath through her runny nose she feels him wince and she doesn't care.
She's six and weak and defenceless and she's allowed to cry, so she will.
Joo-doh walks slowly to avoid jostling her and it gives her time to collect herself. By the time Hiryuu Castle is before them in all its imposing glory, her tear ducts have calmed and her throat has strengthened to a point where she doesn't feel the need to cringe with every word she speaks.
"Is the town always like this?" she asks, tone quiet enough for Joo-doh alone to hear. At some point, General Mun-dok had joined their little entourage of brat princess and exasperated tag-alongs and Soo-won and Hak are distracted by his lecturing, so no one notices Joo-doh freeze mid-step.
The moment passes and he keeps walking, replying just as quietly, "There is currently a festival."
Yona snorts. "Yes, I noticed." She settles her head on his shoulder and gazes at the brightly-lit streets and the decorated stalls, the people passing by with large smiles and eager greetings. "So it's not."
Kuuto undoubtedly suffers the most of King Il's incompetent rule, due to its close proximity to him.
They enter the castle. Yona takes one look at King Il, mouth twisted into a severe frown and the makings of a gently delivered lecture taking form, and starts bawling all over again. Joo-doh all but throws her down while King Il frantically attempts to sooth her, all her crimes immediately forgotten.
Yeah, she's really liking her isekai ability.