Author's Notes:

Hello, everyone, welcome to Arc Three, The Shadow of Doubt, this is probably the simplest title within the timeline to understand, Blu has been injured from his recent encounter with Nigel, leaving him flightless and unable to help guide his daughter during her development into a skillful flyer. Blu, of course, is taking it really hard and has sunk into a depression, believing himself to be a failure.

Meanwhile, another evil plot has been set in motion… an old flame from Jewel's past has resurfaced, and plans to take Jewel for himself. With Blu in the weakest state he has ever been in, can he win Jewel's heart, or will she be nothing more than an old flame for him?


CHAPTER ONE

Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

Many Years Ago …

Heavy Rainfall pounded the city of Kota Kinabalu just on the northernmost point of the island of Borneo. However, it made no difference as she walked into the bar drenched from head to toe. Her bright blue cerulean feathers reflected the light, making her sparkle like diamonds. Her bright sapphire eyes glared out at the large group of birds, insects, and other rabble of common, everyday, run-of-the-mill, filthy animals which she despised with all her heart. Her beak curled as she seated herself near the bar and raised a wing for the bartender to head over.

"Good evening, beautiful," he smiled, peering at her feminine features. "What can I get you?"

Jewel rolled her eyes, dropping her beak out of sheer disgust. Her voice rang out, hinting at her desire to simply do business then get as far away from him as possible.

"I want good, clean, fresh water, not some tap water, not something you think is clean from the river, not rainwater. I want it pure. Got it?"

The bartender nodded. "Right, I'll be back."

The bartender, who was a white-necked babbler with brown body feathers, blackhead, and white neck, hurried off to complete her order. Before long, he brought back a small glass containing the clear liquid.

Jewel sipped the water, swishing it around her mouth as she studied the flavor for a moment. It held a sort of chemically bitter taste that she could not identify. The babbler waited by her side, grinning as he watched her finish the glass. Jewel arched a curious eye in his direction.

"What are you looking at?" she asked, slamming a wing down upon the bar. "Get back to your business and quit staring at me."

"Normally I would," the babbler admitted, "but turns out that bird over there has ordered you a drink."

Jewel followed the bartender's wing towards a blue macaw sitting at the far side of the room. He looked like her, with pure cerulean feathers and bright green eyes. He smiled as he noticed her before quickly peering away.

"Just great, another pig." Jewel sighed, rolling her eyes. "Well, I suppose I should at least thank him for the drink."

Getting up from her seat, Jewel walked over to him and sat down at his table.

"Well, good evening, beautiful," he said in a thick Russian accent.

"I heard you ordered me a drink. You're presumptuous, aren't you? What makes you think I'm even the slightest bit interested in someone like you?"

The bright blue macaw bowed his head, closing his eyes. "Surely, there is no harm in exchanging drinks between friends. I took notice of what you ordered and did you the liberty of ordering another."

Jewel nodded, watching the bartender walking over and placing a small cup in front of her. "But what do you want? What will this cost me?"

"Nothing. It's just good to see another one of my own species. There's few of us left, especially here in Borneo."

"There's not much of us anywhere," Jewel said, taking a drink from her glass.

The Spix's Macaw folded his wings together, his eyes narrowed. "Perhaps there is one way you could repay me," he admitted. "A little bit of information is all I require. You're Brazilian, aren't you?"

Jewel nodded. "Yes, I am. What about it?"

The Spix's macaw grinned, "I can tell right away from the way you handle yourself, the way you carry your feminine features. Even your beauty is top-notch."

Jewel's eyes hardened. "You don't have the right to talk about my feminine features." She growled, tossing her cup at him. "It's been nice, but no thanks, I'm not buying what you're selling, thanks for the drink."

The bird nodded, rising onto his talons. "You don't walk away from me." He said, pointing an accusing wing at her.

"Grab her!"

Before Jewel could make a move, a large variety of different birds descended upon her. Unleashing her talons, she dove forward, striking a vicious blow right to the gut of a large Bornean Bristlehead. He hadn't stood a chance. He gasped as the wind knocked from his beak and he fell to the ground. She peered back, eyeing the babble from the bar swinging a large stick to subdue her. She dodged, swinging her wing right into the backside of his skull. Her eyes glistened as she forced a confident smile. Once again, she proved she held no equal.

"Well, who is next?" She asked.

Before she could make another move, her heart lurched forward, draining her energy. The room spun. The bright spotlights became blurry, filling her eyes with nothing but blurry beams of different colors. She couldn't make out anything else except for her head swimming and spinning.

"What… what's happening?" she asked.

"Just relax," The Spix's macaw grinned. "Let the drugs take hold. You won't remember a thing."

Jewel would have made a move to defend herself, but she fell to the ground, slamming her skull against the ground.

The next thing she knew, she woke up within a cold gray chamber. The Spix's Macaw stood over her, holding a wicked grin across his beak. She couldn't move, her wings and talons wouldn't cooperate. He leaned down, planting a kiss on her neck, and stroked his wings across her chest. His voice rang out through her ears, completely distorted and deep.

"Let me go," she pleaded, "Don't touch me."

"No." the Spix's Macaw's grin widened. "You're mine, you'll always be mine, we are mates."

"No," Jewel squawked and screeched, trying hard to fight back. Her wings and talons remained in place, frozen and completely paralyzed. "I am not your mate. I won't be your mate. Not if you were the last guy on the planet."

"I'm afraid you don't have a choice," the macaw grinned. "The deed has already been done. You didn't think your compliance was a factor, did you?"

Jewel rolled her head to the side; large grey tears worked their way down her cheeks. In the room's corner, she saw Blu tied to a chair. Blood dripped from his neck as if his throat had been slashed.

"What did you do to him?" Jewel asked. "Blu, Blu, please answer me!"

The Spix's Macaw circled around the dead body of her former lover; his bright green eyes glistened in sheer delight.

"I told you, you are mine. He won't interfere in our plans anymore. He won't interfere in our future anymore. There will only be you and me."

Jewel watched in horror as the Spix's Macaw descended upon her. She couldn't stop him.

Jewel's eyes burst open as she released a terrifying screech at the top of her lungs. She swung her wings through the air, striking Blu in the back of his skull as she rose to her talons and tripped from the nest onto the hard wooden floor of the tree. The male macaw came awake instantly. Rising on his talons, he held out his good wing to comfort her. She screeched again, stumbling back away from the bright blue feathers.

"No!" she screamed, "Don't touch me, please don't touch me!"

"Jewel?" he asked, cocking his head to the side, his voice filled with concern. He once again reached out his wing to comfort her. "Jewel, it's okay, you're safe."

Jewel stopped, peering around the tree for a few moments.

"Jewel," Blu began, wrapping his wing around her. His voice lowered to a soothing whisper. "You're having another nightmare; this is the third one you've had this week. Are you okay? Please talk to me."

Jewel peered out at the darkened night sky.

"It's nothing," she admitted, sighing as she lowered her head, "it was only a nightmare."

Blu cocked his head to the side. "It must have been one awful nightmare. The way you were just acting, it's almost like you were being attacked."

"I SAID I'M FINE!" Jewel threw her wings down, her eyes hardening in anger towards her husband. She lowered her head as she realized her mistake. She turned away, lowering her head. "No, I'm not fine. Tomorrow is the day I was assaulted in Borneo. I keep having nightmares about it. I don't understand why because everything is good now. I have you and the kids, and it happened so many years ago. I wish I could just forget and that it would stop haunting me."

Blu wrapped his good wing around her. "Do you know what will take your mind off of it?" he asked with a sly smile. "Let's go take our kids flying."

Jewel shook her head. "I'm fine Blu, really," she held out a wing to her husband and peered into his eyes. "But if you want to still take the kids, Rose really needs to have her father right now."

"But…" Blu tried to protest but found himself silenced by Jewel's wing, tapping his beak. She shook her head once more.

"She's at the age where she needs you. Spend some time with her, Pet. You can comfort me when you come home."


#


The harvest moon rested upon the night sky, casting its soft pale light on the jungle below. The trees danced in the breeze, shedding their dead, dusty brown leaves onto the path below. Without a care in the world, a lone Spix's Macaw sped weaving through the trees. Her laughter cut through the air, breaking the silence which could only come from the early hours of peaceful twilight.

Upon the ground, her father, a large blue macaw, beamed with pride as he rested a wing around his cast. The pulsating muscle vibrated as a sharp, searing pain shot through his body. Forcing him to shudder and remove the wing. His chocolate brown eyes stared up at the young girl. A smile passed over his beak.

"Very good, Rose!" he called up to her, his voice full of excitement. "You're improving. It won't be long before you master the technique of dodging and weaving at high speeds."

Rose fluttered to the ground, hovering in midair for a few seconds. Her tail feathers shifted, lowering her talons before coming in for a landing. Folding her wings, she looked at her father and his cast.

"I wish your wing would hurry and heal," she frowned. "Most birds get to fly with their fathers when practicing their flying techniques."

"Yeah, well, most fathers don't' get injured having to deal with a power-hungry and egotistical cockatoo." Blu nodded his head and grimaced as he moved his wing. The same burning pain coursed through his body as he attempted to place it back within the cast. The joint pulsated and vibrated, creating a noticeable bulge straight in the shoulder blade, which caused the girl to turn away in disgust.

"That's disgusting," she sighed, noticing the painful look on her father's face. Her face filled with concern for the poor creature. "Hasn't it healed at all?" she asked. "It shouldn't be hurting as much as it does."

Blu shook his head. "The doctors still need to run more tests. The pain is too severe to check anything properly and they don't want to risk moving my wing at all."

Blu eyed his daughter. She was still a very young macaw, though she had reached the mental maturity of a teenager. Her soft blue feathers and blackish beak shined in the moonlight. At the side of her head, Jewel had placed a small red rose which brought out the rosiness in her cheeks. In every way, she looked like her mother. Her bright sapphire eyes glistened in the darkness. He noted the worry in her eyes and continued his prepared and well-rehearsed speech.

"I'm sure that in time it will heal properly and when it does, we will fly through the forest all day. There is still plenty more for you to learn, and I want to be the bird to teach you."

"I hope so," she yawned, "I just want our family to return to the way it was before any of this happened."

Blu could tell right away that something deeper was bothering the young female. An inner turmoil blanketed her face, which came to surface from the way she looked away as she spoke. Blu seated himself next to her, nudging her with his beak and forming a reassuring smile.

"What is it?" he asked. "Is something bothering you?"

The macaw nodded her sweet head. She hugged her father, shedding a tear which fell down the back of Blu's spine.

"I miss spending quality time with you," she admitted, "especially in the sky. Ever since you hurt yourself, we haven't been able to spend any time together with the way we used to. I miss it."

Blu nodded in understanding, wrapping his wing around his daughter. "I understand, I miss it too." He admitted, "But you know what, whether I am up in the sky with you or not, that doesn't change that you are my daughter and I love you, and I will always be there when you need me."

"Really?" Rose peered into her father's eyes.

"Yes," Blu nodded, placing his wing on her heart. "I will always be right here… in your heart, no matter what happens."

Rose peered down at her dad's wing, blushing at the thought. She peered back up into her dad's eyes and smiled.

"Thanks, Dad," she laughed, hugging him with all of her might.

Blu shuddered as the young girl came in contact with his broken wing. ""Ow ow ow ow, we need to still work on that though."

Rose nodded. "Yes, yes, we do."


#


Not long after, Blu carried his daughter into the old, hollowed tree. She slept peacefully in his wings. Blu shook his head, handing the young female to his wife.

"Flying practice went really well today," he admitted. "She is the first of the three to turn at such high speeds."

Jewel smiled as she wiped a wing through her daughter's feathery crown.

"That's my beautiful little girl." Jewel smiled. She shifted her attention to Blu, who still held his busted wing. She peered into his eyes. "You look like you're in a lot of pain. Has Tulio discovered what is wrong with it?"

Blu shook his head. "I wish I knew. They haven't told me anything new, and it hurts a little more every day."

He peered down at the cast, which kept his wing prisoner. The pain had subsided like it usually did, but he still couldn't move the joint at all. He lowered his head, his eyes misted over as he thought about the worst-case scenario.

"What if it doesn't get better?" Blu asked, "What if I can never fly again?"

Jewel placed her daughter down within a small nest made of twigs and placed a protective wing on the broken joint, taking extra precautions to avoid causing him any further pain.

"I'm sure you will, Pet." She soothed him, "Even if it doesn't, it won't change my feelings for you."

"Are you sure?" Blu asked. "We didn't really bond until I saved you that day."

Jewel shook her head. "Blu, I loved you since the day you showed me your fun side in the Samba Club. You couldn't fly then, and we will get past this as a team. I promise."

Blu eyed his daughter. His eyes narrowed as he expressed another concern. "But what about Rose?" he sighed, "She wants me to teach her the more advanced techniques to flying, me, the pet who couldn't fly until he came here. She was even upset because I couldn't be up there with her. What if I continue to disappoint her? What if I can never fly with her again?"

"She will understand," Jewel smiled. "No matter what happens, she only wishes to be with her father."

Blu seated himself on the floor and stared out at the night sky. The harvest moon reflected the light in his eyes like twin mirrors. He shivered and peered down at the cast.

"I hope you're right. I don't want to let her down."