A/N: Franklin gets short shrift in the series. Here's a peek inside his head, at the end of S4.
Disclaimer: I don't own B5 – but you knew that, didn't you?
Ch. 1 Being used
There's not a lot that I hate more than being used. There was that time in med school when Giselle Schneider asked me out, but it turned out she only wanted my Neuro notes. Then there was Cailyn. In the end, I didn't mind that time so much. Yeah, she used me because she knew I was a doctor, but she used me to get something she needed, not something she wanted.
But this time – this time, I was used to hurt someone close to me. I know, I know, they hurt John a lot worse than they hurt me. They used him a lot worse than they used me. But, still, I feel violated.
They knew he trusted me as a friend, so they used his mental images of me – my appearance, the sound of my voice – to try to trick him into trusting them. They made him think I was the one giving him the drugs. They made him think I was trying to turn him against everything he believed in.
When we first got him out of his cell, he was so drugged up he couldn't tell who was real and who wasn't. I think the only reason he believed he was actually being rescued is that Michael was there. After all, why would his own personal traitor come to get him out of Hell? I was right there in front of John, taking the restraints off and talking to him, but the only person he spoke to was Michael, even if it was a threat.
It scared the shit out of me to see the look on John's face when he drained an entire PPG power pack into that guard. I've seen him kill, and I've seen him angry, but the sight of him killing in anger chilled my soul. After that, he just plain collapsed. Somehow, Lyta and I managed to pretty much carry him and Garibaldi out to the getaway car.
I'd read up on post-torture psych rehab, and I'd read up on the effects of the drugs I thought they would use. Just reading about it made me ill – how could any physician come up with shit like that? I'd told the Resistance folks what medical supplies to have ready at the safe house. I was right to be afraid that we'd need most of them.
After the drugs wore off, in the safe house, that's when I started to guess I'd been used. John's first words to me were a shot to the heart – "Keep your filthy needles away from me, you sick fuck!" Then, he did his best to throw me across the room. Not that he could, with six broken ribs, severe dehydration, internal injuries, a week on IV nutrition and no sleep, and – well, the list is practically endless. I knew what he was trying to do, though.
The worst of it, for both of us, was that I didn't have a choice. I had to get him fit enough to walk out the door, and get to the shuttleport, to get the hell off Mars. To do that, I had to tape his ribs, I had to dress the burns, I had to stitch the gashes. And I couldn't do any of those things from across the room. He shrieked at me, over and over, "No more drugs!"
It took three men to hold him down while I sedated him.
It didn't take John long to realize that it wasn't really me in the cell – that it wasn't really me that was hurting him, fucking with his mind. He didn't remember trying to throw me into the wall of the safe house. He did remember the fight that he put up when I had to sedate him.
After it was all over, after Clark was dead, after we were all back on the station, he apologized. "I'm sorry," he said, "I know you were trying to help. I didn't know what I was doing."
But I did – I knew what I was doing. I knew I was forcing drugs on someone who didn't want them. "It was for his own good." That's what any rational person would tell me. I know it's true. But when I did it, when I jammed that needle in his vein, they were using me again. And that time it really was me they were using. Not my name, not my voice, but Stephen Franklin, in the flesh.