A/N—I love The Song of Roland. So, so, so, so much. So here I go—writing my own piece. This follows Roland and Oliver's friendship, from Roland's POV, starting at the battle between them during the fight with Gerard de Vienne, who was, according to the chanson de geste of the same name, was Oliver's grandfather. Sorry. I'm a huge fan of this, which is amazing, as I had to read it for school. I wish it could be the same with Shakespeare, but no luck.

I don't own The Song of Roland. Mr. Anonymous writer of the 1100s does. But luckily, he can't sue me.


Durendal shuddered in Roland's hand as it connected with the opposing knight's blade. A loud clang echoed throughout the clearing. The connection sent stabs of pain jarring up his arms, and made his fingers go numb.

He swung Durendal around, trying to undermine his opponent, but the knight deflected the blow with the flat end of his blade, and stepped aside as he yanked his sword away.

Off in the distance, the crowd moaned and cheered simultaneously, the supporters of the two parties mingling their voices in a loud roar. Roland blocked out the noise as best he could—he didn't need any distraction. His mind was muddled enough by the memories that took advantage of his lowered barriers.

"Are you laughing at me?"

Another clang shook his sword as the knight struck again.

Grey eyes, dancing with a mirth that would have been infectious, were it not so offensive...

This time Roland attacked, and his opponent retreated a few steps as he advanced forward.

"I could be."

The ground beneath Roland's feet was so uneven. He lost his footing momentarily, and the knight took the advantage.

Sticks clacking against each other, the sound nearly drowned out by the cheering of the frenzied crowd...

Blow after blow after blow.

"You've been beaten."

The next blow sent Durendal spinning across the clearing, landing far beyond reach. The knight's sword snapped off at the hilt, and the severed blade flew the opposite direction as Durendal.

The same grey eyes, regarding him with a respect that was new...

Roland cursed, the bitter word resounding in his helmet, and rushed forward, his opponent doing the same.

"I apologize most fervently. To have affronted such a fighter is a sore offense."

Roland grabbed the knight's helmet at the same moment that the knight grabbed his.

An outstretched hand, grubby and calloused, quickly accepted by one unmarred by work...

Both of them yanked, and the helmets came off, where they were promptly dropped in astonishment.

Grey eyes: wide with incredulity...

Dark waves of hair: ruffled and unruly...

Olive skin: dirty and scraped by the inside of the metal helmet...