CHAPTER TWELVE

Despite the fighting which had taken place during the previous evening, the dawn promised a beautiful day. Rosy-tinted clouds hovered upon the horizon, shifting to an orange and scarlet as the sun dipped its head over the city. The gathering breeze swept through the streets of Rio, bringing the tranquil spell of a world at peace.

"Is there anyone in there?" a voice called into Luiz's garage. Jewel rustled her feathers, coming awake as she heard the voice. Pulling her beak from her wings, she frowned at the sight of the margay who entered through the up-raised metal door. She fluttered to the ground, eyeing the creature, and dropping into a defensive stance as she readied herself to defend her children.

"What can I do for you?" she asked the cat. "Haven't your margays done enough already?"

The cat-like creature turned to the bird. Her eyes shined bright in the dim light. "Are you Jewel?" she asked. "We thought you would want to know that Nigel was defeated last night. The war is over in a decisive victory for the birds."

Jewel cocked her head, breathing a tremendous sigh of relief. Her smile deepened as she thought of the part that had ultimately played out.

"But… why… would you… tell me this?" she asked, a little uncertain. "Aren't you on Nigel's side?"

"Nope," the margay shook her head, "Our leader gave us the order to retreat and abandon the army. She's dead now, same as Nigel."

"And what about Blu?" Jewel asked. "Where is he?"

The margay lowered her head, muttering as she related the entire story leading up to Nigel's final moments.

"Things were going well for the birds when our leader gave us the order to retreat and abandon him. We refused to be slain over a bird, so we did what we knew best. We ran as fast as our paws would carry us. Nigel, however, killed our leader. He struck her from behind, then he threw Blu into the river, and that was the last we saw of him. He, Jose, and Blu all got swept away by the currents."

"Blu, fell into a river?" She said, holding her wings to cover her beak. "But he can't swim, not with a broken wing."

"I came to inform you that we found his body washed up on a beach not too far from here. We were on our way to check it out. You're more than welcome to come with us and see for yourself."

Jewel nodded and turned to Luiz and Rafael, who now stood behind her. "Can you watch the kids just one more time? I've got something I need to see."

Rafael nodded his head, "Of course, you go to Blu. We'll meet you back at the tree this afternoon."


#


Jewel followed the margay a few blocks. Neither said a word as they hurried along the streets. Eventually arriving at the beach, Jewel traversed the sand with relative ease. She lowered herself down onto Blu's body. Her wings stroked the macaw's chest.

"You promised you would return to me," she said. "So, you have got to be ok. Please, wake up."

Blu's uninjured wing gradually wrapped itself around her back. Blu opened his eyes and forced a weakened smile. "Have I ever broken a promise to you?" He asked, "We did it... Nigel was beaten."

Jewel nodded, shedding her tears, she lowered herself solemnly and laid beside him. Listening to his heartbeat.

"Oh, Pet," she soothed, "I am so happy to see you."

"I must admit, there were quite a few times the past few weeks where I thought I was done for." He formed a weakened smile. "However, I just couldn't die… not without seeing your pretty face, just one more time."

Blu held up his wing and wiped the tears from her eyes. His weakened smile deepened as he remained lying against the warm sand.

As both macaws laid there, enjoying each other's company. A large body washed ashore. Both macaws studied the soaked monkey, his face resting with a peaceful smile as he eyed them.

"You two make a good couple," he moaned, "I can see now why Nigel tried so hard to destroy you... I must admit, I'm glad he didn't. You two are just stubborn old birds with many more good years ahead of you."

Blu rose onto his talons, his body trembled under how own weight. His injuries still burned despite the cast.

"Yeah, well, the adventure is not over yet." He grinned, "The first thing we have got to do is treat the injuries... then it's time to party."

"Party, eh?" The monkey arched a curious eyebrow. "I think I like the sound of that..."


#


All music died down as Nico landed upon the stage. Spotlights focused solely on him. With a twist of his bottle cap hat, he pointed to the crowd of creatures.

"Cali-calara! This song goes out to a wonderful city in one of the most beautiful places on Earth."

Pedro landed beside him. "Let's put our wings together for the conquering heroes who made sure peace... romance... and freedom have returned to this place!"

"Let's get ready to party... Rio style!"

Drums roared through the samba club, Blu and Jewel stood eye to eye ready to dance.

"They're playing our song." Blu smiled.

"Is that a special request from you?" Jewel asked, "or did they feel like playing it for our victory?"

"I think it was a little bit of both..." Blu grinned, "Let's not talk now though... Let's party."

Nico danced across the stage, his voice sung out loud and proud as the room filled with different colored lights.


"I want to party! I want to Samba!

I want to party! I want to Samba!

I want to party, and live our life

I want to party, and fly!

I just want to fly, fly just like a bird

(you are a bird)

Yeah you're right, so I'll fly like a rocket then

(okay)

Climb so high, I'll need to come down for oxygen

(hey!)

Once I start, baby, there will be no stopping then.

Cus I just want to live my life and party

(hey!)

I want to be free and rock my body!

(Hey!)

I've been around the world, and I want to live my life.

In Rio, yes Rio, In Rio, cus I realized

I want to party, I want to samba

(party!)

I want to party, I want to samba

(party!)

I want to party, and live my life!

I want to party... and fly!

I'm the samba, samba master

Master master master master

You shout sound from my ghetto blaster

Blaster Blaster Blaster Blaster

You can dance fast, but I dance faster

Faster, faster, faster, faster

You're doing it! Let's fly!

I want to party!

(party!)

I want to samba!

(Party!)

I want to party!

(Party!)

I want to samba!

(Party!)

I want to party!

And live my life!

(oh yeah!)

I want to party!

(party!)

And fly!"


Blu spun Jewel in the traditional fashion, listening to her laughter as he released her into the sky. Jewel flapped her wings, hovering in the air for several seconds. She eyed Blu and sang her small verse for him.

"Flyjah, Flyjah, Flyjah, Flayjah! Flyjah, Flyjah-lyjah, Flyjah-lyja, Flyjah-lygia-lygia."

Jewel landed and peered in Blu's eyes. Repeating the moment where their first kiss almost occurred a year ago. Her eyes shined bright as she leaned in, kissing him passionately on the end of his beak.

The Blu macaw smiled as she pulled away. His eyes filled with renewed hope. "You know what?" He asked her after a moment of silence.

"No what," She asked, "You don't need to hide anything from me anymore."

Blu shuffled his feet across the dance floor, his smile deepening. "For the first time ever, I think everything is perfect just the way it is."

Jewel embraced him in a hug. Her eyes narrowed in seriousness. "I couldn't agree more."


Author's Notes:

Hello, everyone. I would like to take the time to personally thank you for checking out the second arc of this timeline. It really does look like our favorite duo, get to live on another day, Rio is once again at peace. But with four members of the Dark Robed Society defeated, the remaining members are sure to step up their game. What trouble will come next for Blu and Jewel... join me in Arc 3 - The Shadow of Doubt to find out.