Chapter One "The Deal"

A/N: I hope you guys enjoy seeing my entry into the "Doesn't exist" challenge given by the guy who doesn't exist. Be warned that this chapter is tame in the way of language, but the following chapters will not be. I hope you enjoy the introduction to "A Shadow of Her Former Sound"

He had died. She had finally realized it when her curse mark gave an odd shudder. She had held out some small sliver of hope that he would come and rescue her. But she realized finally that she had nothing left.

When Tori entered the dark prison cell he was confused when the normally fiery prisoner was subdued and quiet. He almost dared to hope that three years of this had finally broken her.

"I wish to speak to the Hokage." Tayuya spoke without even looking at the man instead looking at the outside world through a small hole in the wall that they called a window.

"Finally decided to speak up huh? About ti-"he started but was interrupted.

"I wish to speak to the Hokage. Now. It contains vital information. Hurry along and find her." Tayuya ordered softly, though with her tone it sounded more of a request.

"You can tell-" Tori started to recite but was interrupted.

"Only the Hokage."


"Only the Hokage."

Tori tried several more times only to be met with the demand of 'Only the Hokage.' And despite Ibiki's usual rule of 'Do not negotiate with prisoners' Tori finally decided that the sound prisoner may have some useful information, seeing as how she was a high-ranking member of Otogakaru it might even be the location of the one village that lived up the hidden portion of its name.

Tayuya sat in her cell waiting. Unknowing if the current hokage would show up. She almost laughed at the thought of attempting an assassination. She knew she wasn't powerful enough to take down a kage. Even in her prime she would have been no match, and prison had not been so kind as to allow her to maintain her fighting finesse.

The Nineteen year old sound kunoichi sighed at the thought of what she was about to do. Just twenty minutes ago, the thought would have caused her to feel nauseous but now…

"Alright, make this quick." Tsunade, fifth leader of Konohagakaru, said impatiently as she stepped into the prison cell. Tayuya looked at the new Hokage. She had heard rumors but hadn't fully believed that Orochimaru-sama's former team-mate had also taken control of a hidden village. Despite what she had heard however she didn't look all that impressive. In a sexual way Tayuya would admit that the Hokage looked decent. However she lacked the commanding air that Orochimaru-sama had possessed, as well as the subtly threatening posture. This woman came off more as a child. However, regardless of who this woman was, Tayuya had finally decided…

"I would like to start informing." Tayuya stated calmly as she glanced into the woman's eyes seemingly uncaring.

The Slug Sanin was confused momentarily. It wasn't every day that an A-classed criminal, who had been jailed for several years without even once showing signs of breaking, decided to give away information. "Well… Alright then, you can give any and all-"

"No. I must give this information to you. As well as a single condition. Don't look so shocked ya-" Tayuya coughed to cover the profanity that was about to spill from her mouth, she'd only have one chance at this "Please do not look shocked Hokage-sama. My condition is very small and is unlikely to be too much of a hindrance to you. At least hear me out."

Tsunade looked at the red-head over for several moments. "Alright, give me some information now and I'll consider hearing you out further."

Despite Tayuya's usual abrasiveness she knew a final offer when she heard one so she immediately revealed the most pressing issue at hand "Orochimaru-sama is dead. He died roughly twenty minutes ago."

Tsunade laughed softly "Oh really? And how do you know this eh? Some sort of psychic link?"

"Something like that. Ask the cursed-soul in your village when she returns. Once again Hokage-sama you look surprised. Those of us with higher ranking cursed marks can… sense… Others. It's hard to explain, but you'll have to-" Tayuya started wanting to move onto other subjects but Tsunade stopped her.

"How can you sense others?" Tsunade asked surprised and intrigued, if what the girl said was true then perhaps she could be more useful then the Hokage had originally given her credit for.

"Well as far as I understand, for even the Sound Five were not privy to the exact process of creating a curse mark, when Orochimaru-sama placed his gift upon us, he imparted a very small portion of his soul or at least he called it that. I figured it was more of a chakra signature but I won't go into that. His chakra tries to seek itself out. To become whole. That's how I know he is dead. The largest source of his power is gone. It's…" Tayuya stopped fearing her reaction if she continued.

"Very well. Seeing as how I agreed to hear you out please tell me what you want in exchange for further information." The hokage asked already hatching a plan on how to further use this girl's 'Talents' to her own advantage. 'I just need to get her to agree to help.' The slug sanin thought.

"I want to join your civilian population."

"You want to… what?"

"I have no loyalty to Otogakaru. My only loyalty was to Orochimaru-sama. He is, as I stated earlier, dead. So I have no reason to remain there. In fact, if I returned it is entirely likely, if not certain, that I would be killed on sight for failing to return." The red-head explained "And I have no delusions of being allowed to work as a shinobi after having worked for an enemy village and assisting in the murder of the previous Hokage."

"I see. Well, even IF I agree to this you'd have to be monitored for several months. As for the when and who, we'll see. I'll be back tomorrow to tell you if I agree. You'd better spend this time remembering everything you can that might be helpful to my village."

"Arigato Hokage-sama." Tayuya said her emotional mask quickly fading as a small tear formed in her eye. She turned away from the hokage to avoid it being detected. The instant the village leader was out of the hearing range Tayuya collapsed into a fit of quiet tears. Mourning the loss of her one and only father figure, Orochimaru-sama.

A/N: I hope this was sufficient for a first chapter. I know that Tayuya seemed rather subdued, but the reason for that should be obvious. But if it's not, it'll be explained later on. As well as her motivation for switching teams so to speak. I hope you enjoyed this I'll update next month if I can and if community response is strong enough. [I don't mean Give me X reviews or no new chapters. I just mean if people seem to like it I'll update. I'm not going to release chapters to a story no one wants to read.]

Fun fact: This actually grew out of a challenge that me and a friend thought of where Shikamaru must deal with both Temari AND Tayuya at the same time. I started out that way, but then thought it'd be cooler to just to ShikaXTayuya. Have a good day!