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

"I yield!" Roland gasped, staggering forward, closing the distance between him and his boyhood friend and companion. He faintly heard Oliver cry "I yield me!", but ignored the yells of protest that could be heard ringing across the clearing.

The two friends fell into each other's arms, sobbing with joy.

"Olivere...you, here!" Roland managed to say. Oliver said something along the same lines that Roland didn't catch, as it was indiscernible past Oliver's tears.

"What is this?" Ganelon strode across the field, his dark eyes narrowed. "Roland, you can't just yield. The rules are to the death. The death. Not whenever you decide to yield."

But Bertha, who was hurrying up behind her husband, recognized the young man that Roland had so lovingly greeted.

"Oliver?" she gasped. "Is that you?"

Oliver nodded, his grey eyes sparkling with the tears that, upon Ganelon's arrival, he had struggled to contain.

Ganelon opened his mouth to protest, but his objection was cut off by Gerard's angry cries.

"What is the meaning of this, Olivere? Yielding?"

Soon the whole clearing was filled with voices as men and women of every rank chipped in, praising or condemning the young men's actions. Roland and Oliver tried to raise their voices above the crowd, but to no avail. Oliver was of a gentle disposition, not one to yell, and Roland had earned the crowd's censure, and was not listened to.

"ENOUGH!" Charlemagne's voice dominated the others, cowing them into submission. "Explain."

"Uncle," Roland said, stepping forward, "I-I did not know that Oliver was my opponent. Had I known as much, I would not have fought this battle. Uncle, Oliver is my friend."

"Friend?" Ganelon snapped.

"In Sutri," Bertha supplied. "I remember him. He and Roland had a little fight, but they became close friends."

"Uncle, more than friends. The day before you took me from Sutri, Oliver and I made a pledge. We pledged ourselves brothers-in-arms. Companions."