Bittersweet picks up in the spring of 2002, just before Jason returned on the show (he had left officially in January 2000 with a brief return in the fall of 2000 and in the spring of 2001). When Jason left in April of 2001, he and Elizabeth had been slowly growing closer, despite her committed relationship with Lucky. They both admitted feelings for each other, but Elizabeth wasn’t ready to let go of Lucky and Jason left town. Shortly after that, Emily was in a car accident and left Port Charles for rehab, later breaking up with her boyfriend, Zander, who had dealt drugs for Joseph Sorel, and turned on the mobster, going to work for Sonny.
Elizabeth spent the rest of 2001 involved in the Spencer/Cassadine feud. During his captivity, Lucky had been brainwashed by Helena to be used as a weapon against his family. They thought they had broken through the worst of it in the fall of 2000, but within months, it was back. Lucky’s paranoid jealousy and violent aggression caused Elizabeth a lot of pain and heartache in her friendship with Jason, but she stuck with Lucky due to their history. He eventually proposed to her, but it was soon evident that the brainwashing was still in effect.
Lucky attacked his cousin, Lucas, so that Helena could threaten Tony Jones into bringing Stavros Cassadine back to life. Elizabeth pretended to break up with Lucky and date Nikolas, but Helena asked Nikolas to kill Elizabeth as evidence of his loyalty. Meanwhile, Nikolas kept Gia out of the loop, lying to her about his relationship with her.Nikolas and Elizabeth faked her death — with Sonny’s help — and the Cassadines were foiled for good. Elizabeth returned and she and Lucky began to plan their wedding.
The day of the wedding, Gia overheard Lucky and Nikolas talking about the recent brainwashing — Helena had erased Lucky’s feelings for Elizabeth, but he was going to marry her anyway because he felt like he owed her. Gia immediately told Elizabeth, and Elizabeth ended up leaving Lucky at the altar. That’s where Elizabeth’s part of the story really ends, as I changed how she and Gia handled the aftermath of the wedding for the story.
Courtney arrived in Port Charles in December of 2001 and was quickly revealed as Sonny’s half-sister, another child that Mike Corbin abandoned. She grew up in Atlantic City, and within a matter of months, found herself married to AJ Quartermaine. AJ attempted to use the relationship with Courtney to get leverage on Sonny to get custody of Michael again, but Sonny refused. AJ found himself smitten with his new wife, and stayed with her, even when his own family disowned and disinherited him. AJ and Courtney moved into a rundown apartment — she went to work at Kelly’s and he got a job on the waterfront as a forklift operator.
Sonny and Carly broke up in 2001 after she tried to get him out of the mob by making a deal with the Feds. Sonny was furious, and they divorced. He developed a closer friendship with Alexis, his lawyer, who moved into Jason’s old penthouse across the hall from him. Ned and Alexis called off their wedding around that time.
On the show, despite their divorce, Sonny still went ahead and adopted Michael and stayed in his life. He threatened AJ’s life to get him to terminate his parental rights by hanging him on the meathook. In this story, Sonny still got AJ to terminate his rights but he did it as a condition of his divorce from Carly. He did not adopt Michael at that point and exited his life.
Gia and Elizabeth broke up with Lucky and Nikolas, cutting all ties, and moving in together at the Brownstone with Bobbie, taking one of the apartments in the building. Taggert also lives in the Brownstone. Gia and Elizabeth had always been frenemies, but Gia’s honesty day of the wedding forged a new understanding. They both returned to PCU in January of 2002 to finish their last year of college and developed a close, tight bond with Courtney, whom Elizabeth befriended working at Kelly’s.
In this story, we’re working with Sarah Brown’s version of Carly and Sean Kanan’s AJ. Courtney and Gia are important to the story as Elizabeth’s friends, so I hope you give both of them — especially Courtney a chance. The only other minor change I made was the existence of Alexis’s sister, Kristina, whom Ned was engaged to in 2002 before she died in the August 2002 warehouse explosion. Kristina does not exist in this story.