but i took a darren to the knee

Homesick

A little emotional hurt/comfort between Hanin “Dad” Lavellan and Darren Miller. Because the boy misses home badly, and sometimes the only person around to comfort him is his superior… (approx 2300 words)

It was hard. Leaving home. It wasn’t that Darren was the youngest or the most sheltered among the recruits to do it – to walk away from his family – but maybe that just made his inability to cope all the worse. The children who had fled to Haven seeking shelter were allowed to cry. They were allowed to huddle down in a corner and bury their faces in their knees. No one ever thought less of them for it.

But Darren wasn’t a child. He had no excuse.

He always tried to be quiet when it happened. Stole away, careful of the patrolling guards making sure no stray recruits were out wandering. He’d had a harder time, back in Haven. There were fewer nooks and crannies for him to hide in, the rustic houses watching no matter where he went. But back in Haven it hadn’t been so bad. He had only been away from his family for a few weeks. It still hadn’t seemed real.

Luckily, there were plenty of places to hide in Skyhold.

Today, the location of choice was near the barn, tucked behind some old carpentry tools and off-cut wood. It was far enough away from the barracks not to draw attention, and no one in his squad would waste time looking too far beyond it if they noticed him gone. Sitting with his back against the cold stone, Darren pulled out a piece of paper. It was wrinkled and stained, muddy in places, water-damaged in others. He had tried so hard to keep it safe, but it seemed he couldn’t even do that right. Regardless, he opened it up with clumsy fingers, teeth chattering, tears seeming to dry before they even had a chance to fall as cold wind whipped around him, stinging his skin.

It was silly. Such a simple note. His ma and pa had written it for him just before he left, with the help of the Inquisition recruiter.

Be safe, Darren. Be strong. Come home to us when you can. We will be waiting, my sun.

Love forever,
Ma and Pa.

Maker, some days made it hard not to just pack up and leave. He knew that if he went home, his parents wouldn’t think any less of him. He knew that his little sister would leap into his arms, uncaring of whatever he might have to drop to catch her. But then…

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I went to Elsiefest this weekend and I was lucky enough to get the 5 minute hangout session with Darren in his dressing room.

As soon as I walked in the room, Darren looked at me and asked if we’d met before. Before I could even finish saying my name, he said “Jess, of course!” and said it was great to see me again. We sat down and he asked me about what my life was like; I told him about college and my goals in politics and he started asking me about the 2016 election, and told me we’d sit together one day at the white house correspondent’s dinner, and that it’d be “fucking awesome.” When I said I wanna be president he said “Of the United States?” and I nodded and he said “Of course.” Joey Richter and an electrician came in the room during my session, to which Darren said “This is Jess, she’s gonna be president.” Then he asked me what a smart girl like me was doing in NY for a silly concert like his. He asked me what year I was in college, and told me it was unfortunate that Columbia always gets mistaken for the one in NY because “no, Chicago. It’s a great school.” When I told him I was two years ahead of where I should be he said “right, because you’re super smartz.” 

I had him write out my tattoo, which I’m not sharing the original of because it’s personal, and he took a ton of time making it perfect. Upon asking if I could ask him a question, he patted my knee and said “This is your time, of course.” He mentioned tattoos later during his set when he sang “Not Alone.” 

Then we took lots of pictures. I finally got my hug picture, and when I asked he said “of course, come here!” and hugged me so tight. Afterwards, he gave me the best kiss on the cheek and I asked if we could do that in a selfie and he agreed because he’s amazing. 

Darren.

So, here’s a thing.

I took a trip to see Darren as Hedwig, and we had tickets to Friday night’s show. It was so amazing we had to go back the next night to see it again. I literally spent the last of my money buying tickets, but I HAD to see it a second time. We were on the aisle, so I had to stand up to let the people who sat next to me in. I have really bad knees, and they are not accustomed to the fast pace and tons of walking required to get around in New York… But I needed to see this show, so I chanced it. Went to sit back down but my seat somehow got stuck a little and would go down. I did this weird twist thing to attempt to help it along and ended up dislocating my knee. I fell into my seat, teared up a bit, jerked it back into place and was incredibly determined that I wasn’t going to let it keep me from trying to meet Darren that night, because the night before when we were stage dooring I didn’t get to the front to see him. I’m 5 feet tall, and there was just an impenetrable people wall I could not defeat. So I made it through the show (which was absolutely amazing of course) and headed out to try and get a spot by the barricade. That’s a joke, right? No spaces. Managed to go all the way down to the other end and figured that if I got to see him at all I would probably be close to the last one who did. This was true. By the time he made it out to us, my knee was killing me. I was really wondering how I was going to get back to our hotel on Staten Island… But that trip is another story entirely. Long story short, Darren came up to me, signed my playbill and my poster, and my friend bitz-criss decided to tell him about what happened.

Can I just say that the genuine look of shock and concern in his face is like completely burned into my soul. He genuinely authentically gave a damn. I was blown away. This man is beyond worth everything I went through. From the 24+hours by bus and car to get to New York, to my empty bank account and my dislocated knee. Every second of it was worth it because Darren Criss actually gave a damn, and he called me honey.

*sigh* that really meant a lot to me.

Here’s the conversation we had. I will forever kick myself for not having a video or picture of it. I swear every single word is exact, however. I can’t stop replaying it in my head.


Me: You were absolutely amazing.

Jen: She dislocated her knee for you.

Darren: Wait-What?!!? Why?

Me: I didn’t do it on purpose, I swear.

Darren: How??!

Me: I went to sit back down after I got up to let someone sit next to me.

Darren: Wait- here? In the theatre?

Jen: Yeah, before the show.

Darren: Why the hell aren’t you at the hospital??!?

Me: I’m used to it.

Darren: You’re used to dislocating your knees?!!

Me: Yeah, they do that.

Darren: (softer) That’s fucked! And hardcore.

Darren: Somebody get this girl to a hospital.
Feel better honey, I hope you didn’t really dislocate your knee.

jennievaccaro Do you ever just wanna scream forever but also realize you can’t because you’re suddenly dumbstruck cuz… that’s me. Right now. I just witnessed the most honest, beautiful, gut wrenching, refreshing, devastating and breath taking performance, I am inclined to say of all time, but I’m 18, I have a very small scope of perspective for time. Darren Criss was a phenomenon, outrageously comedic while crisply honest and brutally genuine. His performance left me completely breathless with a slack jaw and weak knees. Never in my life have I been completely removed from the burden of thought, I have anxiety and in fact have a chronic inability to stop thinking, but this show removed me from my own head and took me to a world full of heartbreak disgused by mockery, insecurity, desperation to be understood and loved, a world full of unknown identity and a need to find it and a world full of powerhouse musicians and actors and I was rapt. Lena Hall and Darren Criss are the most genuinely talented and selfless performers I’ve ever seen on stage and I feel so lucky to have not only experienced their hard work, but to have met them as well (despite my inability to tell them all this, which is a disappointment). I am in awe.
As I keep saying: Wow. Holy shit.