Note: I figured that I should post up a chapter before the week starts for me. I'm a little unsure about this chapter, but I feel like it works for me. Anyway, enjoy.

Warnings: This story is rated M. It will contain strong language, references to drug use, adult situations, and violence. Also, Trevor Philips, who I believe should bare his own warning.

Lone Highway

Chapter Three

Dakota honestly had no idea who this "Mike" would be, though she had a few ideas. She had been expecting someone Franklin's age, maybe a doctor or a med student. Though, she had not been expecting a sharply dressed middle aged man, someone Franklin was obviously close to. Dakota just kind of stared at him for a few moments, her eyebrows pulled together and a frown on her face.

"So, is this the amnesiac?" he asked after greeting Franklin at the door, Dakota narrowing her eyes slightly at the name he identified her as. She wanted nothing more than to remember and not to be known as "Dakota the Amnesiac". As the man approached, Dakota pulled herself up to a stand, letting out a sight grunt and placed her hand on her side.

The smirk on his face faded slightly when she looked him in the face, Dakota wanting to snap at him about the fact that, yes, she did have a bruise and cut on her face. Actually, she really just wanted to shove her face into a pillow and yell out her frustrations. She realized that, in her frustrated fantasy of just gripping at her hair and screaming, 'Mike' extended his hand out towards her.

"Michael De Santa," he greeted, Dakota reaching out and shaking his hand stiffly.

"Dakota...Generic Last Name."

Michael smirked slightly, Dakota returning the gesture with a quick half smile before sitting herself back down again. She let out a breath she had been holding, feeling some tension in her legs and side release.

"So, you just found her on the side of the road last night?" Michael asked Franklin, the younger man nodding his head.

"Yeah, almost hit her too. She's been refusing to let me take her to the hospital, claiming she don't need one."

Michael turned to look at her again, studying her face for a few moments, "Well, her face is pretty beat up, but it doesn't look too serious. Though, I doubt that is the thing we need to be worrying about, am I right?"

Dakota frowned up at him, ready to deny what he was talking about, though something in Michael intimidated her. He looked rather widely built, broad shoulders and maybe it was the way he was dressing, too. She let out a sigh, looking away from him sheepishly as she touched her side gently.

"My side does hurt like a bitch..." she muttered, looking back up at him with a frown, "though, I...I don't want to go to a hospital. I mean, I can't remember my last name, the name I am using now might not even be correct, I don't know my age, and..."

"Look, kid, I'll drive you," Michael said, "plus, you can't be much younger than my own daughter. If you are nursing a broken rib, sitting on it for a few days might lead to some pretty bad shit. Plus, if it is just a fracture, they could give you something for the pain."

Dakota didn't really reply for a few moments, biting the inside of her right cheek. What he was saying made sense, but there was just something inside her that was...against hospitals. She honestly just wanted to sit in the shade and lick her wounds so she could get off of Franklin's shoulders.

Then again, this all could have been solved by agreeing to the hospital trip the night before. She was already causing problems...

"Fine," she said softly, "fine, I'll go get my side checked out."

"Good choice," Michael said, reaching out his hand to help her stand up. Dakota placed her hand in his, putting her trust in yet another stranger. Then again, everybody was a stranger to her.

"So, you really don't remember anything, huh?" Michael asked as they drove away from Franklin's home, Dakota leaning against the window with her hand pressed against her side, which was throbbing rather painfully.

"Sadly," she replied, clearing her throat, "though, I managed to remember my name, at least."

And the possibility of a drug addiction...she thought to herself, letting out some air through her nose.

"Well, you could always try that memory recollection hypnotherapy bullshit," Michael said, glancing over at her as Dakota let out a short laugh.

"It sounds like you are recommending it to me and claiming it is bullshit at the same time," she said, an amused smile on her face.

"Yeah, well, as much as therapy helped, I still only trust it as far as I can throw it," Michael replied, Dakota turning to look out the window at the expensive looking cars, the city starting to close around them as Michael drove on.

She really did want to know what happened to her and what caused it at the very least, it felt like she was just wondering around, waiting for someone or something from her past to come up behind her.

"You don't fully understand how lucky you are, kid," Michael said after a few more moments of silence, Dakota turning to look over at him with a frown on her face, "not remembering where you came from, the mistakes you made, the people you know. It's a clean slate, you can do whatever you want with it."

"I may not be able to remember my past, but the people who know me obviously will," Dakota said, looking back out at the road, "it's not really a clean slate if only one side is cleaned out."

"Well, what do you have to fear? From the looks of it, something smoked you on the head and left you on the side of the road. If it was another person that did this to you, they most likely think you're dead. It's a clean slate."

"Clean slate, yeah..." Dakota muttered, sounding like she really didn't believe him. "So, you said you had a daughter about my age?"

"Oh yeah, name's Tracy," Michael said, working his way through the traffic. Dakota was starting to understand that Michael wasn't really one to just roll with the flow of traffic, seeing as he seemed to get irritated at the people in front of him. Though, she was grateful that he wasn't all over the road.

"I also have a son, Jimmy," he continued, "I could get one of them to contact you if you want someone to show you around Los Santos."

"Oh, no, you don't have to do that," Dakota said quickly, shaking her head.

"Nah, Tracey could use some better friends and any day Jimmy is out of the house is a plus in my books," Michael said, Dakota smirking slightly.

"Who's to say I'm the type of person you want your kids hanging around?" Dakota asked, "most of what you see now is a result of the amnesia."

"You seem alright, kid," Michael said, taking a glance at her with a slight smile on his face.

"Yeah, but I could be, like, a psychopath hell bent on blowing up cars and punching sharks...or something."

Michael chuckled, "Believe me, I've had my share of experience dealing with psychopaths. You don't seem the type."

"Whatever you say, Michael," Dakota said with a smirk, looking out of the window. She winced slightly as another wave of painful throbbing ripped through her side, she really didn't like being in a car, or moving at all.

Arriving at the hospital or not, she really wanted out of the car and sitting on something stationary.

The afternoon went by rather quickly, Dakota finding out that she had a fractured rib. Luckily, the doctor seemed to know what he was doing and he prescribed her some mild pain killers and told her to rest up. She felt some relief at knowing that something wasn't seriously wrong with her side and she could focus on her memory situation. Though, even after Michael left, she found herself dwelling on what he had said.

A clean slate...

She could be anybody she wanted, completely start over and be somebody different from who she had been. Though, without the memories of her mistakes, she was worried that she could be just walking down the very same path. Hell, she could find herself on the side of the road another couple years from then, no memory of what happened to her.

Like a game over.

You failed, start again.

Dakota had a hard time thinking about that, though, seeing as she kept thinking back to the drugs in her bag. She kept getting shakes and sweats, that craving not ever really leaving her. It got pushed back to her mind a couple times, sure, but it always pushed it's way back to the front of her mind again, even more intense than it was before.

Maybe...Maybe I should just take a little bit of it. To get rid of the craving.

You're on pain killers, dumb ass.

Dakota slammed her fist down on the railing of the balcony of Franklin's home, the city skyline not distracting her enough. She took a deep inhale, as much as it hurt, as the doctor said she should do every hour or so. The medication took most of the pain out the situation, so the anxiety and irritation was all she could focus on, as much as she didn't want to.

"Dakota," Franklin said, walking towards her across the balcony, "you okay, dog? You been standing out here for a long time."

"I'm just...fine, Franklin," Dakota said, trying not to snap at him. Though, the look on Franklin's face told her that he didn't believe her, her heart beating harshly in her chest.

He knows! A voice in her head yelled, Dakota quickly looking away from him, her hands gripping at the railing tightly, clenching her teeth together.

"You sure? You don't look alright. You took the medication?"

Dakota nodded her head, "About four hours ago, I might need to take some again pretty soon. I've just been getting these..." she paused, not sure if she wanted to tell him, "these chills and shakes. Though, I am sure it's nothing, just a side effect of the medication or..." he was still looking at her with the same expression, Dakota finally snapping, "it's nothing, alright!?"

"Hey, chill," Franklin said, raising his hands up, "you've been acting real shady. Are you doing through some bad memories or something?"

"N-No," Dakota said with a sigh, "I just...I...there wasn't just clothes in my bag. I think I found some...drugs."

"Ah, shit," Franklin said, rubbing the back of his head, "you been using, then?"

"I haven't taken any of it, if that is what you are asking," Dakota said, crossing her arms as she looked out at Los Santos, "though, I might have taken them in my...past life...or whatever. I can't stop thinking about them, sitting in the room. I want to take them, but I don't. I want to get rid of them, yet I want to keep them..."

"Look, I don't know you," Franklin said, "we both don't know how long you have been using, but you don't look like you been using everyday. You could just be going through some withdraw, I dealt with that shit before. Look, dog, I'll help you get through it, but you need to rest."

"I'm probably an addict, Franklin," Dakota said, "you don't need to deal with this shit as well, I'll leave, get a motel room, and deal with it myself."

"I don't mind it, D," Franklin said, "you don't remember why you even have the drugs, you might not even be taking them. I'll help you out, dog."

Dakota stared at him, letting out a chuckle, "Is the loneliness of the place starting to get to you, Franklin?"

"Nah, dog, I just feel some responsibility for yo ass."

"My ass will most likely come with a lot of baggage."

"Can't be anything I haven't dealt with before," Franklin said, a smile crossing his face. Dakota let out a sigh, returning the smile after a few moments.

"If you insist."