A/N: Well, here it is: the first chapter. I'm really excited about this one! I have lots of plans for it, and I've written almost all of it! That means that I only have to tweak and edit before I can upload. But I still LOVE to get reviews. (Wink-Wink!)

On another note, I had an idea. For a sequel to 'Terms of Devotion' I mean. I don't know how long that might take to come up, but A LOT of people asked for it.

Disclaimer- I do not own the characters, countries, or plot lines that originated in Tamora Pierce's "Protector of the Small" quartet. I also do not own the dialogue and plot point from the movie "A Knight's Tale." However, the (well, most of it) plot of this story is my own idea. I also own the few new characters that will eventually join the cast. I hope that my readers will enjoy this, and I welcome any suggestions or questions.

Summary: After a fight with Buri, Raoul writes an apology letter to her. Others help him, and their thoughts, dreams, and dark pasts are revealed.

And now(finally), please enjoy "Redeeming Raoul." (R and R please!)

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Redeeming Raoul
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Chapter One: Valley of the Moon
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Tournament
August 19, 467
Fief Hollyrose
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Rain poured from the sky as the tournament viewers rushed to find cover. In celebration of the birth of Prince Roald and Princess Shinkokami's first child, a son, called Gareth, tournaments were being held across the land. For the tournaments, the knights were broken up into small groups, with a famous knight leading each team. Neal, Kel, and Owen were traveling with Lord Raoul as they all competed.

Now they were in the town of Hollyrose, and the sky was growing black with rain clouds. As they started to leak, the group rushed for cover in a nearby stable. Kel patted Peachblossom on the head and gave him a melting sugar cube from her pocket. The horse sucked down the treat, then snapped his teeth at the passing Neal.

"Demon-horse," he mumbled, continuing past. They all took seats on barrels or in the hay, making themselves comfortable as they waited out the storm.

"Lord Raoul's been difficult these past few weeks," Owen observed.

"Difficult!" Neal exclaimed. "He's lost his bloody mind! Whatever he and Buri fought about, I hope she knows she's making all of our lives miserable."

"Did they argue?" Kel asked. Their eyes turned towards Caliran of Surmic, Raoul's new squire. She lowered her eyes and nodded.

"I'd better not say more than that. He's right grumpy when he hears breath or sigh of her name," Cali said. Just then, Raoul walked into the stable room.

"I need to write a letter," the big knight said gruffly. He spread several failed attempts in his hands. "I'm no good at this."

"I'll help, Sir," the squire said. Cali got out paper and ink.

"Stop it, Cal," Kel chided with a weary smile. "You're making me look bad." The squire grinned in return. She used a small barrel as a table as she began to write her knight master's words.

"'Dear Buri,'. No. 'My Dearest Buri,'" he dictated.

"That's better," Cali agreed.

"'I miss you,'" Raoul continued. Cali, and Neal, cringed. "What? Was that wrong?" Raoul asked.

"It's really up to you, Sir. It's your funeral, I mean letter." Lord glared at his squire. Caliran smiled sweetly. "I only meant that if this doesn't work, Lady Buriram might get angry. You'd be dead and then where would we be?"

"Well what should I say?" he asked, looking at the others.

"Say something about her breasts," Owen offered. "You miss her breasts." Neal looked appalled at Owen's version of a poetic apology, and Kel put her head in her hands. Owen's cousins had said that Jesslaw men never did learn tack.

"Her breasts?" Raoul asked Cali.

"Well, you could, but I think she would appreciate it if you looked above her chest."

"Um… I miss her throat?"

"Still higher, Sir," Cali guided. "Towards the heavens. The moon, maybe?"

"The moon? The moon… 'It is strange to think I have not seen you in nearly two months. I have seen the new moon, but not you…"

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Tournament
July 21, 467
Fief Onslow
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Team Goldenlake rode into Onslow to Owen, Cali, Kel, and Neal shouting a cheer that the latter had made up.

"Who's the captain of our crew?
Who's a friend to me and you?
Kind of nice, good looking too,
Lord Raoul of Goldenlake!

He's tall, you'll ache!
He comes from Goldenlake!
Goldenlake! Goldenlake!

He's tall, you'll miss!
He'll see you in the lists!
Goldenlake, Goldenlake!

Goldenlake, Goldenlake, Goldenlake
Goldenlake, Goldenlake, Goldenla-ake!"

Raoul, from habit, lifted his arm, and the group rode to a stop. The younger knights separated and went to care for their mounts. As they left,. Buri was relating a story from her Rider days, and Cali was listening in earnest.

"Raoul?" Buri asked. She looked up at him. He was studying a report of the tournament standings. "Did you hear me?"

"Mmm-hmm," Raoul mumbled.

"What did I say?"

"That's nice, dear," he said without looking up. Cali, holding her breath until she was out of sight, took the reigns of Amberfire, his horse and went to join the others of their small group. She had spent enough time around the K'mir to know that she was about to get very angry.

"You can kiss and coddle, but you can never find time to listen to what I have to say," Buri accused when the squire was gone.

"Not when you're babbling like one of those silly girls that my great-aunt is always trying to set me up with," Raoul retorted,

"A silly girl?" Buri repeated. Fury rose with the red to her cheeks. "I'm silly, am I? You care more about your precious tournament than your wife!"

"What is this about?" Raoul asked.

"You know full well what this is about! I am tired of being ignored if I don't act like one of the court ladies that swoon over you! So you can out-joust every man in this realm? Does that mean that I should be treated any different?"

"You really are a silly girl," Raoul said, rolling up his scroll.

"Better a silly girl than a silly boy with a horse and a stick," Buri said, re-mounting her mare. As she rode back out of the gates, Raoul groaned in frustration.

"Women!" he growled, as if the word would solve all his problems. Then he stalked off to find his tentand prepare for his jousting match.