'Little Blue Orphan' (Part one, Dreams)

Hi peps and welcome to another story from the best Rio author from the ass-end of Australia. (Queensland)

No, I'm not abandoning One-Winged Angel, as it is my most popular, well liked and overall best story I have written so far. In fact, I don't even know when this will come out. So, keep in mind that this story may slow down production of One-Winged Angel, but I won't abandon it. I know I have said this with Reborn when I was writing Two Blues, and I also said this with Too Ugly To Be Loved, but maybe this time I won't abandon it. May also start working on Wish You Were Here, as lately I feel like writing these depressing stories. (Note: This part was written before I wrote the third chapter and remastered/edited the first one)

Once I've finished this story I'll focus on One-Winged Angel and Wish You Were Here. I'll try to finish them both. When I do I may either write a new story, or remaster/complete one of my many unfinished stories. Too Ugly To Be Loved is my main candidate for that, but True Blues may also be worked on, but that's a little unlikely at this point. Too Ugly To Be Loved I feel has the better story idea, and is the more popular one. May even write a prequel to Too Ugly To Be Loved, either focusing on his life before, during and after PBFD, or just after. May include some flashbacks to his life before and during his fight with PBFD. After I finish those, I may work on my long awaited signature story, Bluey.

I want this to be a long three-parter, and hopefully it'll be good. It may be a tearjerker at times, so be warned. It'll also have a few somewhat disturbing moments, and some surreal scenes, so just keep that in mind. Also, this story will be a bit weird at times. But this story may act as a playground for some of my more weird and disturbing ideas. I hope everything makes sense, as in, you'll understand what's going on and what I'm trying to convey. Most of those surreal moments will happen in the next two parts.

I will also switch between 3rd and 1st person throughout this story. Blu will be the narrator of sorts, as this story follows him.

Without that much more ado, lets get on with it! Enjoy or suffer.

16/07/2020


(Prologue)

Life is a weird thing. It's wonderful, but also terrible. It is tragic, but also comical. It is beautiful, but also hideous. It's a gift and a curse. Its everything – its life.

Where exactly life came from and how is something science isn't certain on. Was it panspermia? Was it a primordial soup? Was it God? Who knows? But away from the origins of life itself, we know how we create it.

The fact that you can bring another living being into this world is breath taking. This is the beauty of life: The beauty of creation.

Who are these creators of life? Parents. Being a parent is stressful, but so rewarding and incredible. Nothing beats it. The beauty of family. But this beauty isn't always there:

This is where you enter some of the more hideous parts of life. Sometimes, parents are horrible. They abuse, torment, indoctrinate and take advantage of their own offspring. But sometimes, they aren't there at all. I know that all too well.

You see, I don't know my parents. I never got to feel the love and affection of parents. Instead, all I got was emptiness. Think of yourself as a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is an element of life that you want and/or need.

I was once broken, with only a few pieces of the puzzle left. Like, I can see, breathe, feel and eat. The basic things you need to live, or at least, the things that'll help you live. I had those basic necessities, but everything else was missing. As the years went by, more pieces were added to the puzzle that is me.

Some parts I didn't really even think about much, or parts I never thought I really needed: Flight, a mate, freedom, children, friends etc.

These all added more pieces to my life, and one by one, I felt less broken and more complete. But I still am missing a few pieces that prevent me from being a finished puzzle.

Parents.

I was snatched away as a chick and sent off to a faraway land. The closest thing I had to a mother was Linda. But she was a human, and even though I loved her, and she did all the things a mother did, or a mother should do: Feeding me, bathing me, providing me shelter and warmth, love etc. She wasn't the same as what having a real mother.

I don't even remember them. I don't remember who I was, and who I am. I am a lost soul – an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. I am nothing. I know where I am, others know Blu, but I don't know who I truly am. I am lost, and only I can find myself.

Someday I'll find out who I truly am. Until then, I am incomplete…

''Maybe we can spend summers in Rio'', I remember Jewel saying to me while we danced. It was a nice compromise. That day would come very soon, and by that, I mean tomorrow.

If I'm completely honest, I still feel like I don't belong in the Amazon. Rio always felt more homely to me. I guess I'm a Carioca at heart, rather than an Amazonian like Jewel.

But the Amazon wasn't so bad. I mean, I love being able to see more of my kind, and I know my little rascal children love being able to interact with other Spix's macaws. Not to mention the fact that our species isn't so doomed after all. Because if my family were the last ones left, then we'd inbreed into extinction.

However, as part of the deal, we'd spend the summer months in Rio de Janeiro. I know the Amazon may be my home now, but Rio will always be my true home in my heart. I never knew why I felt so attached to it...


It was night-time, and for all diurnal animals, it meant one thing: Sleeping… and maybe some other things…

Blu and Jewel had their own lovely hollow. It wasn't as big as Roberto's or Eduardo's hollows, but it was still large. It featured several rooms which acted as bedrooms for each member. The house was decorated with flowers, bits of moss and other plants to make it feel as pretty, lively and homely as possible. Each room had their own décor to fit each bird's personal style and needs. For example, Bia's room was decorated with some of her drawings of various animals, particularly insects and butterflies. Carla's room had a few D.I.Y posters of her favourite musical artists. Tiago's room had skulls and other stereotypical boys room stuff. Blu and Jewel's room was more generic, but did have some photographs of their family. Jewel was more open to human stuff in the aspect of photographs to near immortalise memories.

Tiago, Carla and Bia appreciated the privacy and the ability to hide away in their own space if they are ever stressed out, angry or sad. Blu and Jewel appreciated the privacy as well, but for different reasons…

Blu and Jewel had finished tucking their two daughters, Carla and Bia into bed, and they were about to tuck in their youngest child and only son, Tiago.

He sat in his little nest, which was cushioned with bits of moss and leaves. It may not sound that comfortable for a human, whose idea of comfort when it comes to sleeping is a bed with a soft mattress, blankets and pillows. But for a bird, moss and leaves made a nest quite cosy.

Jewel gave him a kiss on his head,

''Goodnight, Tiago.'', she whispered. Tiago smiled and cooed,

''Goodnight, mama…'', he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. Blu stood nearby and smiled. Tiago may be a prank loving, rude and immature bird, but he also has a very soft and quiet side that everyone else wishes that he'd show more often. Jewel smiled and walked up to her mate, Blu. It was time for them to go to bed themselves. They needed the energy, because tomorrow is the day they go back to Rio for the summer. In fact, all of them had gone to sleep early. You wouldn't want to be tired and have to go on a nearly 2,000 mile flight?

Jewel and Blu shared a quick kiss, and they headed off to bed. Their room was the largest in the hollow, apart from the main room/living room. In their room lay a nest large enough for the both of them to comfortably lay, and like Tiago's nest, as well as the rest of them, it was cushioned with moss and leaves.

Blu and Jewel could've had… some fun… because their children were all tucked into bed and were asleep, but tonight they wouldn't. They needed to get to sleep, and have the energy for their flight tomorrow, so the two lovebirds simply laid down in their cosy nest.

They said goodnight to each other, and shared their goodnight kiss, before they closed their eyes and went to sleep. Jewel fell asleep quicker than Blu, which is typical for them. Blu usually lays down and thinks about things for a bit before sandman takes him.

Tonight, he was thinking about Rio, which is understandable considering they're heading off to go there tomorrow. But something seemed to be bothering him, and he couldn't put a talon on it whatsoever. It was just this feeling of something he didn't know, he wasn't sure what he was feeling or what it was about, but it was bothering him. Unable to identify what exactly was making him feel like this, he dropped his thoughts and went off to sleep…


A joyful tune was playing, and it all seemed so familiar, yet so unfamiliar at the same time. He couldn't make out any words, but he swore he could recognise the melody and the tune. It was upbeat, and seemed to be sung by a large group of people… or birds…

Blu's vision came, but it was so blurry. Everything was just so vivid yet so unclear, it was surreal. A strong sense of conflicting feelings surged throughout him: Feelings of wonder, peace, happiness, and nostalgia battled against feelings of anxiety, sadness and a sense of doom. These emotions clashed against each other, making him deeply afraid of something… What it was, he didn't know, but he feels like something horrible will happen…

Suddenly, intense feelings of horror swarmed him like a swarm of angry wasps because you disturbed their nest. Cries could be heard, and Blu felt waves of intense fear and sadness. He had no clue what was going on, but he could hear cages slam shut, and fearful squawks echo throughout his mind.

In the midst of this, he suddenly felt like he was freefalling… He suddenly felt a pang of loss, and his mind knew what it was but at the same time didn't. He felt like this had happened before, and a single thought crossed his mind without his control:

Mama…


Blu's eyes shot open, and a beam of super-bright light forced them shut again in an instant. He was breathing quite rapidly, and he felt like he wanted to cry. Blu slowly opened his eyes and felt a sense of comfort when he saw his beautiful mate sleeping next to him. His breathing slowed, and his mind tried to make sense of what the hell that dream was. But he couldn't really figure it out. It was too surreal and unclear for him to identify what it was about. But he still couldn't shake that sense that he felt it before – déjà vu.

Jewel opened her eyes and looked at Blu concerningly,

''Honey are you alright?'', Jewel spoke in her soft, angelic voice, but it was filled with concern. Blu faced her, still panting a bit.

''Yeah… Yeah, I'm alright. I just had a… nightmare.'', Blu said quickly and in between breaths. Jewel felt like he was hiding something but ignored that feeling. She assumed he was simply on edge.

''Alright Blu. Remember, today is the day we head off to Rio.'', Jewel reminded him. Blu simply nodded.

Blu yawned and got up. It was time to pack up the last bit of things, say goodbye and leave. Luckily, they had prepared so this morning won't be too much of a hassle. They needed all the energy they could get for their journey to Rio, which would take around a week or more to complete.

Flight is a wonderful gift that birds, or at least most birds, are able to have. Flight allows you to travel to so many places quickly and is very useful for a variety of situations. Such as travelling 2,000 miles.

They had already said their goodbyes, and now it was time to leave. Blu had his fanny-pack, which contained some essential items, including a safe spot to keep Carla's iPod when she wasn't using it.

''Glad we don't have that… GPS or whatever you call it.'', Jewel chuckled. Blu felt a little defensive for a moment but decided not to bother. To be fair, the GPS had extended the trip to the Amazon by a good amount, due to the fact it seemed to take them everywhere in Brazil apart from where they were supposed to be. On the plus side they at least got to see cool places.

With everyone ready and all things packed, they flew off to Rio.

Unlike last time, where the journey took two weeks or so, this journey only took a week of flying. This made Blu realise just how bad that GPS was, but he is confident that it was just a bad apple, and it made a bad impression on human gadgets. If it worked properly, perhaps Jewel would've been more open to human gadgets.


During their flight, they had seen many things. They had flown over the many rivers that feed the mighty Amazon, they've flown over the gargantuan Amazon rainforest, they've flown over fields and towns, grassland and hills. Its been a large trip and their journey was coming to an end… well, not really, but they're closer to Rio now. They had been flying for a few days now, and their destination was getting closer. It was still a day or two's flight away, but it was a lot closer now. Stopping by the country's capital, Brasilia, a modern and large planned city constructed in the 1960's. Famous for its lifeless open lawns, and modern architecture, it can be said to be a boring, soulless 1960's futuristic city. But it didn't matter, as they didn't live there.

They stopped by on a rooftop to rest for a bit. They weren't going to stay there or sleep there, but they were going to rest. After all, why would they stay there if its midday, and they've got plenty of time to continue on their long journey to Rio, which is taking nowhere near as long as it did to fly to the Amazon. Mostly thanks to Blu's malfunctioning GPS.

While their kids lounged around or gazed at the city like a tourist would – although they could be considered tourists, but they didn't think of it like that – more like temporary visitors. Which if you think about it, that's what a tourist is. But they aren't here to visit and travel around Brasilia and see all the attractions and ungodly sized lawns, they're just here to rest. But regardless, Blu and Jewel sat next to each other. Jewel decided to engage in a conversation, or at least small talk with Blu. Something they haven't done much of during their flight.

''So… What're you looking forward to most?'', Jewel queried. She knew the answer would be something like seeing friends, seeing the many wonders of Rio (which are all concentrated in the South zone, as few care about the remaining 90% of Rio de Janeiro) or seeing his former owner, Linda. But she asked it anyway because she just wanted to talk with her mate.

''Well, I'm looking forward to seeing mum – I mean Linda, again.'', Blu stumbled on his words, and quickly corrected his mistake. Its like when you accidentally called your teacher 'mum', or 'dad'. We all did that… unless you're mute or if your teacher was your parent. Jewel was surprised by his words, while she could brush it off as a mistake, which it technically was, she was very curious about this. Maybe Blu's relationship with Linda was a lot stronger and more personal then she thought.

''Woah, whoa, wait… did you just call Linda mum?'', Jewel questioned him. Blu blushed slightly, with his neck feathers standing out a bit more. Jewel could tell he was embarrassed, but she wanted to know more.

''Uh, it was a mistake!'', Blu quickly said. It was technically true, but it did go beyond the example of calling your teacher mum, it was a lot more personal. Jewel could tell he was hiding something, and she reckoned he was ashamed of that something.

''No, I don't think so… Is there something you need to tell me?'', Jewel's tone softened a bit as she guessed it was a personal thing with Blu. While she usually respected someone's privacy, Blu was her mate and if something were bugging him, she wanted to know so she could help him in any way she possibly could. Because that's part of the obligation of matehood – looking out for each other.

''Look… its nothing…'', Blu lied. Jewel could see through his lies like a clear window.

''No, Blu I can tell you're lying… Please, if somethings wrong then tell me.'', Jewel's tone softened further, and she placed her wing on Blu's shoulder as he looked away shamefully.

''Promise you won't tell anyone about this?'', he said quietly.

''I promise.'', Jewel responded. Blu sighed and prepared himself to tell her something he was sure she'd find stupid and funny. He anticipated being mocked to a degree, which is why he couldn't bare to look at her, instead he looked shamefully at the ground.

''Its just that… Linda is the closest thing to a mother I ever had. She fed me, cared for me, loved me and provided me shelter and warmth. I sometimes called her my mum because she was the only family I had…'', Blu's voice was full of shame and sadness. Jewel swore she saw a tear trickle from Blu's eye.

''Hey, there's nothing to be ashamed of… I never knew how deep your connection to Linda was…'', Jewel soothed Blu's worries and shame. He slowly looked at Jewel and cracked a small smile. The two lovebirds spent the next few minutes in each other's embrace. Little did Jewel know; Blu had many more skeletons in his closet that he was going to keep all bottled up inside him…


Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand,
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land.
And when she shines, she really shows you all she can,
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande.


After a long week of flying, at last they had arrived at their destination: Rio de Janeiro! Well, it was already dusk and after such a long and tiring journey, they were really looking forward to a good night's sleep… and they'll probably all sleep in. A weeklong flight does take a toll on you. They were flying over the jungle in the Blu Bird Sanctuary, which doesn't serve as much as a purpose as it did when Blu and his family lived there. Luckily for all those living there, it is still protected, and they haven't bothered to change its name.

It didn't take long for them to spot the ranger tower, and to their delight, their nest boxes were still there. Perhaps the humans anticipated them coming back occasionally for a visit, or they were just too lazy to take it down. Either way they were glad they didn't. As it was approaching nightfall, it was decided to pay Linda, Tulio and Fernando the next day, as they were all too tired to do so today.

Blu landed on the small balcony of their nest box. At long last, they were home… or at least, their home for the summer. While he did miss the nest boxes, he did prefer their hollow in the Amazon. It was so much larger, and he enjoyed being able to have his fun with Jewel with a lower chance of the kids hearing.

''Home, sweet home!'', Blu sighed happily. Jewel landed beside him,

''Yeah, its good to be back… in a proper home.'', Jewel sort of agreed. Blu could tell she wasn't 100% fond of sleeping in something man made, but over time she grew to accept it and not care. After all, she had slept in the fake jungle. It seemed she was referring to sleeping in a place that is actually theirs.

''Goodnight kids!'', Blu cried out, and realised they had each gone into their respective nest boxes. Figuring they were just as buggered as he and presumably Jewel was, he went inside their box. It was slightly smaller than their room in the Amazon, but it was still very cosy, and he liked that. Collapsing straight onto their nest, which had accumulated dust, but for now they were too tired to clean it out. They'd save that for tomorrow. Jewel followed suit. After a weeklong journey, they had at last arrived, and boy oh boy were they tired!

Jewel snuggled up with Blu, and the two fell asleep post haste…


Everything seemed so blurry and vivid. But Blu felt so… comfortable and safe. Also, surprisingly warm. He could hear a voice but couldn't make any words out, but he just knew it was from someone he could trust.

Weirdly, he felt… smaller, and was snuggled against something incredibly soft. His senses seemed to be coming back to him, but his sight was still blurry, and his hearing was still echoey and slightly drowned out by something. Its like if a loud noise is drowning out their speech slightly, except there is nothing drowning the sounds out. He started to be able to pick up on words.

''Oh, he's so adorable…'', the voice belonged to a woman, and something told him she was someone he needed to be with. As soon as he heard her soothing, sweet voice, he felt a pang in his chest, and a sense of longing and sadness. Which is weird because the scene was so peaceful. He heard another voice, which belonged to a man, but he couldn't make out any words.

Inadvertently, he snuggled closer to her and let out a chick-like coo.

''Awww, isn't he just precious, honey?'', it appeared his behaviour elicited a response from his mother… Wait, how is he so sure? No idea, but it just came to him and he feels like he just knows who she is. Again, he heard a man's voice, but couldn't make out any words. He guessed he was his father, and he was a chick.

The sensation of a wing feather caressing his head and back was so soothing, and he couldn't help but let out another coo. But Blu was still trying to make sense of this. He had read somewhere that nearly all dreams have some sort of meaning, even the incredibly weird ones… Okay, maybe not that incredibly stupid and bizarre dream about being chased by a clown riding a pig spraying whipped cream at you from his nipples…

Was this dream trying to tell him something? Surely it was. His sense of longing for something… It must be his parents. His father's voice being unclear may be because he didn't know his father well or was just a mama's boy. Who knows? He certainly didn't.

But a sense of intense fear swept over him and he began to panic. Why? He wasn't sure, but this sense of dread felt so… familiar.

Out of the blue, Blu had the feeling of falling, and intense fear and sadness surged through him.

''Mama!'', he cried out. Then the sound of cages being slammed shut, birds squawking in terror. A cacophony of panic and fear mixed with cages slamming shut. More fear swept through him as he heard one so close to him and felt cold, scared… alone.

The cages! The cages!


Blu's eyes shot open and he was breathing heavily. He felt movement next to him and jumped. His sky-high nerves fell down when he realised it was Jewel. Her face, although half asleep, was full of concern.

''Blu? Are you alright?'', she asked concerningly. Jewel was reminded of the nightmare he had before they set off to go to Rio. On the way, Blu didn't have any nightmares, or at least as far as she knew. But now they were in a place that was theirs, he had another nightmare. Blu rarely had nightmares, so for Blu to wake up hyperventilating and in a cold sweat twice in a week was a bit concerning. Perhaps she was just being overly worried, and it was merely a coincidence, but something was telling her that something may be causing this... something personal... But again, she thought it was more likely to be a coincidence.

''Yeah, just a little on edge. I just had a nightmare.'', Blu answered, though his voice was full of nerve. It didn't cross Jewel's mind that Blu was hiding something from her. She had brushed off her initial worries about something causing this, as it was likely a coincidence he had two nightmares in a week. Which wasn't really even that far fetched. The nightmares were likely unconnected and unrelated apart from being scary. But still, she decided to query further, so she could help calm him.

''What was it about?'', she asked. Blu paused for a moment,

''I… I don't want to talk about it…'', Blu spoke with a low and… scared voice. It was early morning, and the sun would come out soon. But it was light enough for Jewel to notice Blu's teary eyes. Whatever nightmare he had, it must've been pretty bad, or personal. But as such, she decided not to question him further.

''Oh, okay…'', Jewel whispered. She decided to hug him, which is what she always did when he had a nightmare, and that's also what he did when she had a nightmare. It always helped them calm down, and it seemed to be working for him. A naughty thought crept over Jewel's mind and she formed a sly smile.

''Do you want me to make you feel better?'', she asked in a seductive voice, and winked. It took a moment for it to register in his mind,

''No thanks… I'm not really in the mood right now…'', Blu declined lowly. This surprised Jewel, as he almost never declined her offers of sex. Which is understandable, when you have someone as hot as Jewel as your mate, you're bound to want to bang them often. So, it all confirmed that the dream he had was really bad, and she had another idea to help him.

''Okay, how about we go on a morning flight. Just you and me, like the old days?'', she offered with a sense of nostalgia at the end. Before Blu got Jewel gravid, they had often flown about together. It was so much fun and they would sometimes do it for hours. They enjoyed that sense of freedom and adrenaline they got from doing so. But they stopped doing it when Jewel got gravid, as it probably wouldn't be that good for their developing eggs. But now that their kids were older and more mature, even though they could still be immature, particularly Tiago, they could probably start doing this again, though not as much and for as long as they used to. With this in mind, Blu thought about it for a moment and smiled.

''Yeah, that sounds fun!'', Blu cheered up in tone, and Jewel promptly smiled. The two shared a quick kiss and exited their nest box. Blu guessed it was 3 or 4am, and it was surprisingly cool that morning. Especially considering it was summer in Rio, where the lowest temperature ever recorded was 10.1°C, recorded at the Saúde station, which is the main weather station for Rio. Although Jacarepaguá once recorded temperatures as low as 3.8°C. Blu guessed it was roughly 20°C, maybe a degree or two higher. It had rained last night, and all the foliage was a lucious, fresh green colour. Though it was like that before, but the rain made it even more so. The ground was damp and there was some mist, which mixed with the cool weather and overcast sky made for a beautiful and peaceful morning. A mix of conditions, especially the rain they got last night, made it feel a fair bit cooler than it really was. Blu could handle it, and Jewel could as well to a lesser extent.

''It's a bit cool this morning, don't you think Blu?'', Jewel stated, confirming he wasn't the only one who noticed that. Not like he had any doubts about that, considering how he didn't feel the cold as well as Jewel did. Primarily because he spent the first 15 years of his life in Minnesota, which is far, far colder than Rio. (Moose Lake recorded temperatures as low as -47.2°C) Jewel on the other wing spent all her life in a tropical environment. The locals here seemed to be sensitive to the 'cold', meanwhile Blu was sensitive to the heat. It's a trade off, but he is getting better at handling the heat.

The two kept on flying about, going deeper into the Blu bird sanctuary. They must've lost track of time, because it was sunrise and they had been flying for ages. They decided to rest on a branch that sat outside an unoccupied hollow. It didn't have a nest in there, so it was up for grabs. But they already had a home in the Amazon and nest boxes in Rio.

''We should probably head back.'', Blu pointed out, but they decided to sit there for a bit to catch their breath. It was a lot of fun to just fly about without a care in the world. He and Jewel may have spent the past week flying, but this flight was special and fun. They had done aeronautical manoeuvres and were laughing as they did so. Blu missed being able to do this with Jewel, not being able to do this since they had chicks. But he wouldn't ever in a million years trade them off for being able to fly about in the mornings. Besides, they were getting older and soon they'd be able to go on their morning flights once more.

Blu was lost in his thoughts when the forest came alive with birds. A familiar feeling of dread crept over him, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as in the dreams he has been getting lately. The feeling was more so a sense of somewhat strong unease. That calm before the storm wouldn't last long. A familiar tune started rolling throughout the jungle. Many birds of different shapes, sizes and colours fluttered about, using various things as instruments, including their own body. They hadn't sung any lyrics yet, but some were scat singing. (Gibberish noises, like 'da da da da' or 'la la la la')

Blu felt a bit of unease, and turned over to Jewel, who was smiling and appeared to be enjoying the tune.

''Hm, sounds pretty cool, don't you think?'', she smiled. Her smile dropped when she saw Blu with obvious nerve. She didn't have time to ask him, before the birds started singing actual lyrics.

All the birds of a feather,
do what we love most of all.
We are the best at freedom and laughter,
that's why we love carnival!

Blu's nerves were higher than they were before, but at the same time, he couldn't help but get lost in the song. It was mesmerising, beautiful and incredibly joyous. It was awesome to see how many birds of all kinds singing in unison, like a giant choir or orchestra. Jewel could see he was nervous about something but couldn't figure out what. She decided not to ask him, as she saw he was starting to get lost in the song like her.

Possibly we can sing too,
Sun and beaches, they coo.
Dance to the music, passion and love,
show us the best you can do!

Blu was still lost in the song and was starting to tap his talons to the beat. At the same time, that sense of nervousness crept over him, especially at the 'Dance to the music, passion and love' line. It evoked a strong sense of deja vu, even though he felt that sense beforehand it wasn't anywhere near as strong as after that line. That feeling would progress in intensity, as would his nerves as the song continued.

Everyone here is on fire,
get up and join in the fun.
Dance with a stranger, romance and danger.
Magic could happen for real in Rio!

By now, Blu's nerves were going up, and he was starting to stop tapping his talons. He had a sense of dread that he could not shake, but he brushed it off. However, the next lines would prove to crank his sense of dread up to 11.

All by itself, you can't see it coming,
you can't find it anywhere else.
It's real in Rio, know something else, (something else)
you can feel it happen, you can feel it all by yourself!

Blu was starting to hyperventilate, and quick snippets were flashing in his mind. He felt slightly dizzy from the sense of dread that was plaguing him. The longer it went on, the more his nerves grew. The last line was the spark that set off the fear in him. Flashbacks of his last day in the wild flashed in his mind, and he could hear them… The cages! The cages!

All those birds snatched away from their homes, sent off to a faraway place with their fate unknown. Families separated, friends torn apart and lives ruined. And for what? Money. Blu could hear the cages and he lost all control. An unparalleled sense of fear, sadness, and a horrible sense of guilt swamped his very soul.

''NO!'', he shrieked in terror, ''The cages, the cages! Help, someone help me!'', he cried out. Jewel was about to hold him close and try to snap him out of it, but he bolted into a hollow they sat outside of. Jewel followed him in there, to find him curled up in the fetal position, facing the wall and trembling. The song continued, providing an almost comedic level of contrast between the joyous song and Blu's pure terror. Jewel could hear him babbling and mumbling a seemingly incoherent string of fear filled words. He was also sobbing uncontrollably.

Jewel slowly approached him and put on the calmest and softest voice she could.

''Blu? Are you okay?'', her question was stupid. He was obviously not okay, but she asked it anyway. Blu didn't respond to her question, but he did speak,

''Th-the… c-cages… B-b-birds… All gone! All c-caught a-and… caged!'', his voice was fear struck and sounded like the rantings of a madman, except he was crying. Jewel couldn't help but feel awfully sorry for him. She crouched down and embraced him. Blu promptly embraced her as tight as he could, and cried into her soft, feathery chest. She could feel it getting soaked with his tears. It was clear as day that that song brought back a traumatic memory. She noted his mentions of cages, and guessed that this was something that happened in his childhood… Maybe it was the event that got him smuggled to Tiny-soda.

Her wing stroked his head feathers, while her other wing drew circles on his back. Her mother used to do this when she was sad, and she's used this to help calm her own children when they were sad and distraught. But up to this point, she's never done this with Blu. Because up to this point, he's never been like this. Sure, he has cried a bit here and there. He was a rather emotional bird who was okay with letting out his emotions, although usually not in front of others.

''Sssshhhh… its okay Blu… Its okay…'', she soothed him with her soft and angelic voice. She was acting like a mother would to her distraught son, except it was her distraught mate. Blu was still sobbing and trembling uncontrollably, and still held her as tight as he could. Jewel hated to see her Blu like this and would be happy to do this all day if it meant calming him down. Hopefully, their children weren't awake yet, and if they were, hopefully they wouldn't be worrying…


Meanwhile…

Tiago's eyes slowly opened in his cosy little nest box. He smacked his beak and rubbed the sleep off his eyes. Letting out a yawn and stretching his wings, he got up and walked outside his nest box. He was rather tired,

''Ugh, I'm getting old…'', he muttered. He had an idea to do his usual rude awakening of his parents, especially his father. He walked over to their nest box and peered in with a malicious grin. He dropped it when he saw the box was empty. Figuring they were probably getting breakfast or at the cottage where Linda, Tulio and Fernando lived. He wasn't going to annoy his sisters, out of fear that they'd fight him, and he wouldn't have any back up or parents to stop his angry sisters. Without any pranks to pull or things to do really, he saw no point of staying up any longer and went back to his nest box to relax a little longer.

Today was probably not going to be busy, considering how they just got back from a weeklong flight.


Blu finally got control of his emotions and calmed down after a few minutes. Jewel was more than happy to do this if it meant calming her mate down.

''You alright now?'', she asked sweetly. Blu nodded,

''Yeah… I guess…'', he responded quietly. He had improved in mood, especially since the song ended.

''I assume you don't want to talk about what happened?'', Jewel asked. She knew the question was stupid, and it may set him off again, but she had asked it anyway because she might be able to help him.

''I don't think I can…'', Blu responded. He couldn't make sense of the memories without being brought to tears, that's why he cried for so long. He felt the need to get it off his chest, and he decided now that he has calmed down, he would.

''I-I… was little and… and… the cages…'', Blu barely managed to tell her that. The tears came back, and Jewel continued to soothe him. She felt guilty for bringing it up again and decided not to question him further.

Luckily, Blu calmed down quickly. With a few sniffs and rubbing his eyes, he got up.

''I think we should head back now.'', Jewel said with a slight sense of hurry. Blu understood,

''Yeah, lets go…'', he said in a low voice. He was still recovering from his panic attack and sobbing fit, so his voice was still crackly and wobbly. The two took flight and flew without talking to each other, apart from Jewel asking if he felt better during the beginning of the flight. The only other bit of speech either said was to themselves or was rhetorical.


After about 20-25 minutes of flight, they arrived back at the nest boxes. Thankfully, their children haven't killed each other. They landed on their balcony, and saw Tiago come out of his nest box. He was disappointed and confused when he saw they had no food and was also confused to see his father look rather down.

''Where were you?'', he asked.

''Your father and I went out for a morning flight and lost track of time. I'm glad you haven't killed each other.'', Jewel told him and let out a quick chuckle.

''Is dad okay?'', Jewel sighed, and decided to tell him a watered-down version of what really happened, so as not to worry her son.

''Dads just a little sad due to… personal things.'', she answered. Tiago was still concerned for his father but decided to drop it and asked something else,

''Well, are we having anything for breakfast?'', he asked. Jewel paused and whispered something to Blu, and he said something back, before he entered his nest box.

''Your father's just going to relax in his bed. Please behave while I'm gone and tell your sisters the same thing.'', Jewel answered him, and approached Tiago, planting a kiss on his head before she flew off to get breakfast. While she didn't actually say she was getting breakfast, he knew she was doing that.

The rest of the day continued without incident. Blu stayed in his nest box pretty much all day, only coming out to stretch, have a quick flight and other things. Blu was thinking all day about his memories and tried to figure them out. However, he couldn't really. Soon, he gave up because it was taxing and made him feel depressed, which was basically how he felt all day. No one had ever seen him like this, and this worried their children most of all. Jewel would tell them the vague answer that it was ''personal things''.

Jewel hoped that this was a one-day thing, and that he'd feel better tomorrow. She hated seeing him like this, and so did their children.


Night-time arrived and Blu and Jewel had tucked all their kids to bed. Blu was feeling marginally better than his cripplingly depressed state earlier – he did the momentous task of tucking his kids into bed. He still felt like total shit, and Jewel could see this. She knew what cheered Blu up without fail – her.

Blu and Jewel entered their nest box to rest, certain that their kids were asleep. Jewel wouldn't do it just yet, and so she decided to talk to him a bit before she asked him.

''You feeling better now?'', she asked. Blu turned to his mate,

''Yeah, I guess…'', he sighed. It was clear as day that he was still feeling down, and a sly smile formed on her beak. She silently chuckled,

''So… You want me to cheer you up?'', she asked seductively, and winked. Blu knew what she meant, and even though he felt terrible, he supposed he could do with a little fun with Jewel. Not full-blown sex, but still something intimate.

''Yeah, why not?'', Blu chuckled slightly. Jewel formed a cheeky smile, and the two kissed as Jewel's wing crept down…


Blu felt much better thanks to his mate's amazing wingjobs. The two were in an embrace, Jewel didn't really expect anything in return, because she did this to make her mate feel better. Today had been pretty drab and overall, quite shitty for Blu, so in Jewel's eyes, he deserved a nice massage. But they had their fun, even though Blu had more fun than she did, and so it was time to go to sleep.

Blu had exited her embrace and laid down to go to sleep, with Jewel next to him. Before he did that, he opened his eye and saw Jewel. She was still awake.

Blu noticed her eyes were brown and she looked so much like someone he loved… someone he no longer had. A smile formed on his beak as he let out a coo and closed his eyes.

''Goodnight mama…'', he sighed happily. Jewel's eyes widened and she silently gasped at his words. But at the same time, she felt happy that her mate was happy… until he started to shake and softly cry as the sandman slowly took him to sleep.

Jewel felt weird at that moment, and wondered if he had any mummy problems… She dropped that thought and assumed that she reminded him of his mother.

''I hope its just that…'', she muttered to herself under her breath. Blu had stopped crying, and it appeared he was asleep. She sighed and closed her eyes. Soon, she too, drifted off to sleep…


Well, that wraps up this long chapter, I hope you enjoyed it!

By the way, do you think this is my best work so far? Probably, thanks to my improvement and skill and the length of this chapter. This is by far the longest chapter I have ever done, beating the long-held record of Two Blues chapter 2, which was 3,707 words long. This chapter is 8,275 words long. Quite a fair bit longer, don't you think?

By the way, that random bit of song I included when they arrived at Rio, is 'Rio', by Duran Duran. I have no idea if the song is about Rio de Janeiro, or something. By the way, I may or may not have gotten the lyrics right on 'Real in Rio', because there are many conflicting lines.

The reason why Blu reacts like that to the song, even though in the film he was shown singing the song with his family is because in this story, he never sung the song, and the song was a thing in a different part of the jungle than where Blu and his family lived. But it obviously was a thing where Blu lived as a chick, otherwise he wouldn't have reacted like this.

Sorry if it kind of skipped about at times, that's because I didn't have many ideas for certain bits, so I omitted them and skipped to the parts I did have ideas. I'm not 100% sure if this will be a 3-parter, as I may make it a 4-parter, but that's unlikely. Only time will tell.

I hope this wasn't too much at times, but next chapter may or may not be worse in emotions. Well, it'll probably be even sadder. The third chapter is something I'm not sure on. I'll write two different versions, however each one will conclude with a similar element, except the tone is different. Ending one is a more openish ending, while ending two is a lot more optimistic and happier but is still bittersweet. Only it's sweeter than ending one. Ending one will be an entire part and be long enough to justify that. Ending two will be much shorter but will still have its own part. You decide which one you prefer, but I'll write both anyway.

I won't reveal much about the rest of this story, and I don't know when the next chapter will be out, as I haven't gotten many ideas for it. However, I have planned out both this chapter and the third chapter in advance. Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

By the way, make sure to leave your honest thoughts in the reviews. I appreciate constructive criticism and suggestions. If you aren't capable of doing so then that's fine, but I do prefer constructive reviews. Oh, and you can nitpick the shit out of this story. Comb through every minute flaw. I want it all pointed out so I can make this the best it can be.

Extended with some extra detail on 18/07/2020

Until next time, goodbye.