Summary: Epilogue.

As he entered the room Mayuri saw Nemu seated behind a table, the only furniture in the room besides the two chairs. The two masked guards escorting him helped him walk to it and guided him to his seat. It was difficult to move in his shackles.

"Remember, we'll be watching." One of them said. They turned and left.

Nemu gave a respectful bow from her chair. "Good morning Mayuri-sama. I hope you are feeling well."

He glared at his daughter, his eyes filled with wrath.

"You disgust me. Reporting me for assault? Humph! I guess I shouldn't be surprised at your treachery, knowing what a miserable excuse for a daughter you are."

Nemu's gaze dropped to the table. "The report was automatic as a result of seeking treatment."

"That alone is damning enough!" He snarled. "How dare you involve another division? They have no right to know what problems you cause me or what punishment I see fit to bestow on you."

Nemu fought from cringing at Mayuri's tone. She took a deep breath. It took all of her courage to raise her head.

"No, Mayuri-sama. You are wrong. You do not have the right to hurt me."

"I created you, I can do whatever I want to you!" He shouted. "You were nothing before I made you and you're less than nothing now! Everything I do to you, you deserve!"

A lifetime of hiding her emotions served her well. She shook her head as she denied his words.

"I don't believe that anymore. I am grateful to you for giving me life, but it is my life. It is for me to decide what I want to do with it. I do not wish to live this way anymore."

"Is that so?" He sneered. "The way I see it, you have forgotten your place. I created you to serve me. As far as I'm concerned, you've betrayed my trust. And you know what I do to anything that turns against me."

Reaching up awkwardly with his manacled hands, he unscrewed the cap on the appendage attached to his chin. Removing a small, slim object from inside, he held it up for her to see. It was a remote detonator. He smiled in triumph as he positioned his thumb over the button.

"They'll never get here in time to save you. Goodbye, Nemu."

Calmly, without breaking eye contact, she reached down to pick up something from the floor. She placed a large sealed glass container half filled with liquid on the table. Floating within was a strange purple and pink organ that throbbed and pushed pseudopods feebly against the glass.

Looking at the jar, Mayuri could see the fourth division's emblem prominently displayed on the lid. He looked at Nemu's calm face in disbelief, hissing with frustration as he realized what she had done. Teeth clenched in rage, he fiercely mashed the detonator button. The container gave a "THUNK" as the thing inside exploded, the liquid immediately vaporizing, clouds of greenish steam swirling furiously inside as the pressure and energy sought to escape. The glass didn't even crack.

"Captain Unohana sends her compliments." Nemu said. "She found that extremely difficult to remove."

Mayuri ground his teeth in anger.

"So what are you going to do now brat?" He growled. "I suppose you're going to leave me? Transfer to another division?"

Nemu took another deep breath before answering. It was hard to express herself to someone she both loved and feared for so long.

"No Mayuri-sama. I want things to be better between us. I want you to respect me. I want the pain to stop."

"You have a strange way of showing it, having me locked up like an animal." He said.

"I will have the charges dropped." Nemu replied. "You will be released immediately if you agree to my conditions."

"Conditions!" He blurted out in astonishment. "You presume to set conditions on ME!"

She nodded. "If we are to continue to be together, things must change."

Mayuri stared into his daughter's eyes. She looked the same as always, her face a blank slate giving away nothing. It suddenly occurred to him that he had no way of knowing what she was thinking.

"Very well." He said leaning back in his chair. "What do you want?"

She leaned forward as she presented her demands. "First, you are not allowed to beat me anymore."

He sniffed. "Gotei 13 regulations permit to punish the members of my division as I see fit."

"Regulations also allow members to seek redress for abuse." She pointed out. "I will report any excessive punishment to myself or other division twelve member I witness to the authorities."

He frowned. That had always been true, but almost never enforced. The custom of captains administering their divisions as they saw fit without interference was long established and rarely disturbed. Nonetheless, he was sure she was serious.

"What else?" He snapped.

"You are to allow me to continue to seek treatment at the fourth division." She answered.

"Treatment? What for? It seems to me they've done quite enough." He said while gesturing at the smoke filled jar.

She saw no need to tell him why. Uryuu had been right to urge her to seek help. Already, she felt much better about herself just for reaching out to someone.

Seeing she was not going to answer him, Mayuri rolled his eyes. "Fine. You can go to your precious fourth division. Is that all?"

"No." She replied. The next demand was going to be the toughest. "Finally, you must swear to never harm the quincy again."

His eyes narrowed in suspicion at that. "O-ho, now the real motivation comes out. Never harm the quincy you say? All the quincy, or just that bastard you defiled yourself with?"

She refused to acknowledge his insult. "You are to leave them all alone. Never try to experiment on them again."

"And it I don't?" He asked

"Then I will go to General-Commander Yamamoto." She answered. "I will tell him everything."

"You wouldn't dare." He snarled. "You know what kind of crimes we've committed. If I we are found guilty, it's a guaranteed execution. We'll both be annihilated."

"I am willing to accept that fate." She said. Indeed, she felt it would almost be a relief.

Again, Mayuri cursed his daughter's unreadable face. For years she had simply been there, always ready to execute his commands, always doing what she was told. In time, she had become part of the background in his life. Something he took for granted. He was beginning to realize he didn't know her as a person at all.

He scowled at her. "All right. I accept your terms. As long as you understand that I am sickened by your disloyalty. How could you threaten own father? How could you give your loyalty to strangers? It's clear you are no longer a daughter to me. Do whatever you want, you ungrateful child. It's not like you're giving me a choice."

With that, he turned his face to the wall and refused to look at her. Nemu stood up. His words hurt her deeply, as he no doubt intended. None of it was true. She loved her father very much. And he was wrong. There was always a choice. You simply had to decide if you could live with the consequences. Uryuu made her realize that. She bowed in farewell.

"I will have the bailiffs remove your restraints Mayuri-sama." She said as she walked to the door. "Lunch will be ready by the time you get home."

Caution warred with optimism in Nemu's heart as she walked home. On the one hand, she felt a true sense of accomplishment. She was taking charge of her life. She was making things change for the better. It wasn't easy, and was a little bit scary, but she felt more in control of herself than ever before. If she made mistakes, if she got hurt as a result, at least it was because of her decisions, her actions. She had Uryuu to thank for it. She wished that someday, she could let him know how grateful she was. Thinking about him, she reflected on another decision she had made. A very hard one. She had decided to never seek him out again.

She knew Mayuri would keep his word. Her threat to reveal their secrets would ensure that. She also knew he would try to find a way around it. He was a dangerously clever man. If there were a way to hurt Uryuu and keep his word, he wouldn't hesitate to do so. She needed to protect Uryuu. The best way she could think of to do that was to avoid all contact with him. If she stayed away from him, it would give Mayuri fewer opportunities or excuses to strike.

Entering her room, she took a moment to look around. There was little to see besides a small writing desk and a chair. She slid open the door to her closet. Underneath her futon was a small box. She opened the lid revealing her few personal treasures. A small plaque Matsumoto had given her as a souvenir. A picture Yachiru had drawn of them in crayon, two stick figures playing in a grassy field. An empty medicine bottle. Taking out her cell phone, she scrolled through the files until she came to her report. Mayuri had not thought to erase it. Clicking through the menu, she downloaded the document onto a micro SD card. Removing the tiny storage device, she placed it in the box. Now she could never lose it. As she put the box away, she wasn't sure why she had done that. With her perfect recall, she could remember it as though she were reading it out of a book.

"Quincy Work Diary, Day one." She said aloud as she recalled her report. "I entered the subject's environment under the guise of a transfer student. There was minimal disruption. The subject immediately accepted my presence. It was…good to see him again."

She left to make Mayuri-sama's lunch.

The End