Dr Nathaniel Cooper (2013-2017)
Parents: Gavin Cooper
Marital Status: Sophie Taylor (divorced); Ricky Sharpe (2016, divorced)
Nate turned up on John and Marilyn’s inaugural bus tour as a last minute passenger. The pair assumed he was a journalist and, after he had questioned most of Marilyn’s made up speech, John tried to buy him off. As he left, he made a comment to April about the pair, prompting her to rush to defend them. It was only when she found him with Dexter at the hospital that she discovered he was her new supervisor. He was quick to give April responsibility but more through apathy than anything else and she and Dexter felt he was hiding something. After overhearing his side of a telephone conversation, April decided he was nursing a broken heart, but he was in fact unhappy about being transferred from the city to a small town hospital and desperate to go back.
On learning April had reported her previous superior for bullying, he tried to get her to do the same to him in the hope he’d be transferred. He was slightly buoyed when he received flowers from a patient and when April and Dexter organised an impromptu welcome party at Angelo’s with John, Marilyn, Jett, Zac and Hannah. He sent April home on learning Romeo’s ashes were being delivered and expressed his surprise when she got engaged to Dex. He treated Josh Barrett when he was shot and convinced him to see Ricky. He also tried to convince him to see Maddy but instead he ran away from hospital. He got a call from Ricky saying Josh was at her house but, despite him having an infection, Josh refused to go back and Ricky supported his decision. Nate reluctantly stayed at the house to keep an eye on him. Kyle was unhappy about his presence with Brax in jail, which Ricky had already told Nate about, and warned him off. He treated Spencer after he was beaten up at Sanctuary Lodge and managed to convince him to make his peace with Chris and go back on his bipolar medication.
He found Andy Barrett, who had been stabbed and refused to let him call an ambulance. Heath took them both back to the Braxtons’ place where Andy revealed the stabbing was retaliation for informing on a cellmate. Nate stole medical supplies from the hospital to perform a makeshift operation, and explained to Ricky that he had once reported a stabbing against the victim’s wishes and the boy had been murdered in retaliation. He arranged for Josh and Andy to stay at the same motel as him. Kyle called him when Ricky fainted and he quickly realised she was pregnant. She swore him and Kyle to secrecy.
He went to dinner at Hannah’s place but the attraction between her and Zac made the situation awkward. He convinced Ricky to go for a check-up and convinced her to tell Brax about her pregnancy. When Alf asked him why he was helping the Barretts, he made some pointed remarks about caring for those in trouble and revealed his mother died when he was Josh’s age. He received a call from a Doctor Simons offering him a transfer back to the city. Ricky went to him in tears after Brax broke up with her before she could tell him about the pregnancy and Nate let her stay overnight at the hospital. He told her about the transfer offer, prompting Irene to try and convince him to stay, and after a few words from Alf about the advantages of being in a town where people knew him he agreed to stay.
He helped out at the first aid tent at the Bay Meets the River festival until Kyle told him Ricky had been taken to hospital with bleeding and he hurried to help her. After the tests came back all clear, he was in the process of discharging her when a bomb planted in Bianca’s bag went off and he was caught in the blast.
Nate suffered no injuries but was trapped in the rubble by a cave-in along with Heath and a badly injured Bianca, who he had to perform neurosurgery on before they were rescued. He began spending time with Ricky but learnt his request for a transfer had been agreed. Ricky told him to fight the transfer if he wanted to stay and he began renting a room at Leah’s. Nate rushed Ricky to hospital when she began experiencing stomach pains and performed an ultrasound when no doctor was available, meaning he had to break the news that she’d lost the baby. He took Ricky home and stayed with her until Kyle came back, but ended up arguing with Kyle and saying Ricky was only still there because she was waiting for Brax. This resulted in Ricky walking out of the house but Nate convinced her to go back by helping her see she had ties to the Braxtons beyond Brax. He accompanied Ricky to Ethan MacGuire’s funeral: Afterwards, she kissed him then told him to leave. Nate told her he had feelings for her and she admitted she felt the same way but didn’t feel ready to start anything. He gave Heath and Casey advice over Bianca’s memory problems but couldn’t be around Ricky, reminding her she’d chosen a man in jail over him. Ricky then moved out of the Braxtons’ and Nate helped her find a room at a motel. A few days later, Ricky invited him to her room and they slept together.
Nate encouraged Ricky to take up photography again. He kept his distance from her when Casey asked her for help in getting Brax out of jail, feeling she needed time alone to think. He arranged a photography assignment for her in London, then tried to warn Brax, who had been released, to stay away from her. Heath called him for help when Jess went into labour on the beach and he delivered her son. He fell out with Ricky after she found out about him warning off Brax, prompting her to say she might not come back from London, then learned Jess had terminal cancer. He promptly told Ricky, which resulted in Bianca running off to London and an angry confrontation with Heath. He then learned Brax had followed Ricky to London. He was on hand when a customer collapsed at the Diner from eating risotto that Chris had made with death cap mushrooms and rushed him to the newly-reopened hospital. He then found Leah collapsed at home from eating the same risotto and rushed her in as well. He told everyone that Leah might need a liver transplant and Chris got him to address a meeting at the Diner to discuss finding a live donor. However, at the end of the meeting Ricky approached him and broke up with him. Soon after, he discovered Leah was recovering.
When he heard that Brax and Ricky weren’t together, Leah suggested he might be in with a chance. He defended Ricky when he found her in an argument with Brax and told her he loved her. She responded by sleeping with Brax and Nate accepted they were over. He convinced Leah to report Tamara missing when she didn’t come home, treating her when it was discovered she’d been hit by a car. He also looked after Casey when his attempt to remove a tattoo turned septic. He took a hard line with Zac when it appeared he had run over Tamara, angrily berating him at the surf club. When Tamara began having headaches, Nate rushed her in for a scan and discovered bleeding behind the optic nerve which could send her blind, booking her in for an emergency operation in the city. He looked at Harley for Heath but realised he only had a harmless virus, and helped Bianca look after the child when he briefly stayed with them.
After looking after Kyle when he was knocked off a bridge, Nate was shocked when Sophie Taylor, his estranged wife, turned up at the hospital. She revealed she was the new principal at Summer Bay High and Nate felt awkward when she and Ricky ran into each other. He went to see Sophie at work and had sex with her in her office. However, he felt awkward afterwards and told her they couldn’t even be friends. He explained their history to Leah: He met Sophie when he treated her after a car accident but she became addicted to painkillers and used him to get hold of them. When he saw Oscar having a panic attack, he suggested to Zac that he might need medication and Oscar agreed. He admitted to Sophie he still had feelings for her and, after talking with Heath, told a concerned Leah he wanted to give the marriage another go. He arranged to have dinner with Sophie at Angelo’s and spent the night with her afterwards. When Matt mentioned the fact to Sophie at school, Nate joined her in telling him to keep it private.
He went on a date with Sophie while he was on call and dropped his phone when she messed about with it. They went back to her motel room, where he failed to notice the hospital trying to contact him. Nate didn’t get the message until the following morning and found out Roo had been in hospital all night with an infection and no-one had treated her. He accused Sophie of turning his phone onto silent. He suspected Roo had bacterial meningitis and admitted to Alf that she might not recover. He then discovered growths on her brain and asked Alf for details of where she had gone. When Sophie came to see him at the hospital, he ushered her out, worried she would steal drugs, and she told him they had no future if he didn’t trust her. He told her he couldn’t immediately trust her again but wanted to try. When Alf and Maddy found out Roo had been to Peru, he realised she had had a reaction to her inoculations and was able to give her the correct anti-virals.
When Darcy was brought into hospital with a broken arm, her evasive behaviour caused Nate to report Heath on suspicion of abusing her, despite pleas from Ricky and intimidation from Brax. He ended up being blamed by Ricky when Heath was banned from seeing Darcy and didn’t help matters by repeating his claim to Darcy’s grandmother Connie. He worried Sophie was pregnant when she started feeling ill but then found her collapsed with a ruptured appendix and rushed her to hospital, where he worried she’d soon be back on painkillers. However, when she came round she refused pain relief. He agreed with Leah’s suggestion that Sophie move in with them during her recovery and stayed with her when she experienced pains as he was about to go to work. Leah suggested she was faking it but Nate told her to stay out of it. However, he was glad to see the two women getting on. He began house hunting with Sophie but as soon as they moved in to a place he began looking for excuses to avoid spending time with her, lying that he needed to work. He invited Leah, Zac and Ricky round for dinner when Sophie was planning a romantic meal and told her he was scared of things going wrong again. He stood Sophie up in order to look for a missing Oscar and talk to Hannah about managing his body issues, prompting Sophie to accuse him of always putting her second.
Ricky and Sophie tried to arrange a double date with Brax and Nate but both men were reluctant and things were tense. He continued to pay attention to Oscar and became close to Hannah as a result, ignoring calls from Sophie who was worried since he had cheated on her the last time their marriage had broken down. He stepped in when he saw Andy grab Hannah’s arm and was annoyed to learn Sophie had told Hannah to stay away from him. He comforted Ricky after Casey’s death and, when Sophie, who didn’t know what had happened, objected, he told her they were over. He looked after Denny when she collapsed after Casey’s funeral and prescribed her sleeping tablets. When they went missing without her taking them, Nate questioned Sophie, who had brought him a meal at the hospital. It turned out Oscar had taken them, at which point Nate admitted to Sophie he was attracted to Hannah but told her he wanted to make things works with her.
Brax tried to convince him to let Jake Pirovic, Casey’s murderer, die when he was brought into hospital but Nate refused. At the end of the shift, Sophie saw him hugging Hannah. He and Sophie had trouble finding somewhere new to live when their rental was put up for sale so Sophie suggested buying it; when Hannah admitted she had feelings for him, he agreed to Sophie’s suggestion. They organised a barbeque to celebrate having their offer accepted and Sophie insisted they invite Hannah. While he was chatting to her at the event, Sophie came running out of the house, having scalded herself. He arranged the mortgage but then kissed Hannah. However, he told Hannah he was committed to Sophie.
When it was discovered VJ had been left tied up in the bush with some bullies, Nate went with Brax to find him. When they found him at the bottom of an embankment, Nate tried to climb down to him but slipped. Brax climbed down and he and VJ managed to carry Nate back to the car; once back in town, he was taken to city hospital by helicopter. He was soon transferred back to Summer Bay but Sophie was uncomfortable with Hannah looking after him. Nate got out of bed to stop the pair arguing and ended up collapsing. He was rushed back into theatre and afterwards tried to break up with Sophie. He ended up making out with Hannah in his office but stopped short of having sex with her. He told Sophie about the kiss but she refused to let him move out. He did everything he could to avoid her, then tried to end things again, only to come home and find she had taken an overdose. It was accidental but Nate realised she wouldn’t get off the drugs unless he left her and went away for a while.
However, on his return he learned Sophie had lost her temper with Leah and went to check on her, leaving her thinking they still had a chance, so told her they wouldn’t get back together even if she got better. Ricky told him Sophie saw him staying at the motel where they got back together as a sign that he was waiting for her, so he moved to the caravan park. However, he found Sophie was staying there as well and decided one of them would have to move. He came home to find Sophie’s caravan on fire and managed to rescue her from the blaze, but slowly realised she had set fire to the caravan herself and called for a psych assessment. When arrangements were made for Sophie to be taken to a psychiatric hospital, he went home for the night and returned to find a drugged Hannah in her bed. He unsuccessfully looked for Sophie. After leaving her a message saying he wouldn’t try and contact her again, he moved back in at Leah’s.
When Maddy was brought into hospital, Nate sent Oscar away before telling her and Roo that she was pregnant. However, when he gave Maddy an ultrasound some weeks later he found out she wasn’t pregnant and the test results were down to a mass on her ovary, so booked her back in. He told Maddy she had cancer and advised her to start chemotherapy straightaway. He gave Ricky an ultrasound, then came home to find his and Sophie’s wedding photo pushed under the door with “Till death do us part” written on it. He told Zac but failed to alert the authorities. When Sophie phoned and told him she wanted him to take her to the hospital, he went to her motel room only to find it set up for a romantic meal. When he didn’t play along, she knocked him out, doused the room in petrol and prepared to set fire to them both, only stopping when he told her he loved her. He convinced her they could run away together but instead tried to drive Sophie back to Summer Bay. When she realised what was going on, she tried to jump out and then grabbed the wheel. Driving erratically as a result, Nate forced a coach carrying several Bay residents off the road then crashed into Brax’s car.
Nate ignored Sophie and concentrated on looking after the wounded. When he found Kyle trapped, he warned about the dangers of his body being flooded with toxins only to see him go into asystole. He helped to treat him at the scene and also found Leah, who had suffered a head injury and had a bleed on the brain. He then realised Sophie had gone missing; she called him to the beach where she told him she knew they were over and had called the police, who soon arrived to take her taken away. He admitted his part in things to Hannah, who had been left unable to walk, earning himself a serve from Andy, but John and Hannah reassured him. He tried to convince Hannah to tell her family the true extent of her injuries. He met Katarina Chapman and had to deliver the news to Zac and VJ that the hospital had failed to take Leah off the ventilator and she wouldn’t wake up. When Kat tried to question him about the accident, he became defensive, despite her telling him it wasn’t his fault. He initially disagreed with sending Hannah home but Andy talked him round.
He examined Kyle when he had difficulty singing and learned his vocal chords had been damaged during treatment. He defended Brax to Kat when he was accused of Dean Sanderson’s murder. When Hannah cancelled a hospital appointment, he went to the house to examine her and told Andy she needed to start doing things for herself. He received papers saying Sophie had filed for divorce and after chatting with Kat he signed them. He criticised Andy for abandoning Hannah when they split up and, when Denny had to call him for help after she had a fall, suggested she go back to hospital. Andy returned and he and Hannah encouraged Nate to start dating again, so he went out for dinner with Kat. He confided in Hannah but refused to name names. He and Kat slept together after another dinner but she left quickly the next morning. He told Hannah they had a casual arrangement but Kat abruptly broke up with him when people started asking questions. After chatting, they ended up going back to his place to have sex again but had to come up with a cover story when Matt came back unexpectedly, leaving Kat convinced it couldn’t work. Nate confided in Hannah, revealing Kat’s identity. Kat later told him she was fed up of being alone and they spent the night together in a motel.
He manned the first aid tent at the colour run but Kat convinced him to take part, betting she could beat him. She managed it because he stopped to help Chris, who had faked an ankle injury. They spent the night together at the motel but when Kat was left facing awkward questions again as a result she ended the arrangement. He looked after Ricky when she had contractions and warned Kyle and Ash that keeping things from her caused stress. He was the target of Leah’s temper after disturbing her evening alone. Kat turned up at his house drunk and in a flirtatious mood. He escorted her home, saying he was tired of sneaking around. She then kissed him in public at the Diner.
He helped Roo smuggle Alf out of hospital to attend the Anzac Day commemoration and arranged for Matt to go to a camp to deal with his alcohol problems. He treated Kyle on the quiet after a run-in with one of Gunno’s associates. When Ricky asked for help in getting into jail to warn Brax that Gunno was after him, he faked a medical emergency so she could visit. Kat was angry when she found out, accusing him of compromising her, so he told Ricky he couldn’t help her anymore. Leah came to him asking him to look into headaches and mood swings and he ordered an MRI. He also suggested Alf had PTSD when he started having panic attacks. He smoothed things over with Kat, then got Leah’s test results that showed she had an aneurysm and advised surgery. However, Leah fixated on everthing that could go wrong and refused. He helped to deliver Ricky’s baby at the hospital.
When Matt was suspected of robbing an ATM and Leah found the money hidden in his mattress, Nate tried to stop Leah going to the police. He had a go at her when she handed the money in and tried to get Kat to drop the case. Kat refused however and showed him that it was better to get Matt to admit the truth and work on mitigation. They promised each other a day off from work but then had to intervene when Andy punched Oliver, a man who had been chatting up Hannah. He told Maddy her chemotherapy was working. He tried to advise Ricky on looking after baby Casey and helped look for Leah when she went missing. He helped out with Leah’s surgery. Kat told him she wasn’t sure she could cut it in town when everyone quizzed her about Brax’s presumed death. He spoke to Ricky about it and agreed to give Zac space to propose to Leah. When Leah publicly turned Zac down, Nate and Kat argued about it; Nate felt she should have said yes but Kat explained a boyfriend had pressured her into getting engaged.
He and Kat saved Billie from drowning when she had a surfing accident and she bought him some boxing gloves as a thank you present. However, she was soon stalking him, making up ailments to spend time with him and inviting herself to join him for dinner. Nate initially saw it as innocent and agreed to meet her at the gym to try out his new gloves, but when she started stirring things with Kat he told her nothing could happen between them. When someone plastered doctored photos of Kat’s head on a stripper’s body around the Bay, Nate learned that it could affect her promotion chances and told Billie, who they guessed was responsible, to stay away from them.
Billie apologised to him, but once they were alone at the gym she scratched his face, ripped her clothes and claimed he’d attacked her. He was arrested and charged with attempted sexual assault when a sexually aggressive text to Billie was found on his phone, planted by her. He rejected Kat, feeling she didn’t trust him, but she confided in him that she had been in an abusive relationship. The charges against him were dropped when Chris found evidence Billie had framed him, and he told Kat he loved her. He moved in with Irene when Oscar and Evelyn moved in with Leah. Chris began hanging out with him and Nate felt too grateful to tell him to go away, until it turned out Chris had only been doing it to apologise for doubting him.
He acted as a makeshift celebrant at Casey’s baby naming ceremony. He looked after Billie when she was injured in a fire at Leah’s place and encouraged Ash to visit her when he saw how depressed she was. He refused to be one of the topless waiters for Zac and Leah’s fundraiser, instead competing against Kat for the best dish contest. However, he had to take part when he lost a bet after Roo named Kat the winner. He checked Josh over when he was knocked down the stairs at the caravan park. Ricky called him to look at Kyle, who had discharged himself from hospital after being stabbed, and he failed to convince him to go back to hospital. He was left feeling guilty when Kyle was rushed into hospital and was given a serve by Kat. He then had to treat Kat herself when she was shot during a confrontation with drug dealer Damo Adams. He stayed by her side during the night but was having breakfast with Ricky when she woke up. He brought Kat home when she was discharged but left her immediately to accompany Ricky to a meeting with Kyle’s specialist, upsetting Kat. When the hospital staff picked up on the fact Kyle had had unauthorised treatment, Nate admitted responsibility and that he’d failed to do a swab that would have picked up sepsis. He ended up arguing with Kat and told her they should take a break. He was suspended from work for four weeks and ended up going away with Kat.
They returned and admitted they hadn’t discussed anything important while they were away, accepting it was over. Nate then kissed Ricky and they spent the night together. He supported Kat when she gave evidence against Damo and convinced her not to leave town; their continued closeness caused Ricky to back away from the idea of a relationship. Despite still being suspended, he went to the hospital to support Marilyn’s family after she was electrocuted. He confided in Hannah about his night with Ricky and was annoyed to discover Chris also knew. When he learned Kat had gone to work drunk, he tried to convince her to leave. Kat later admitted she wasn’t coping without him and they reunited. He returned to work but found himself working under James’ supervision. He joined Kat in meeting her old school friend Pete Ashfield. They were drafted in as models for a beach wear photo shoot Pete was organising, but when Kat was called away Ricky took her place. He cancelled dinner with Ricky to deliver a takeaway to Kat at work, then saw Kyle kiss Ricky. He confronted her but she told him Kyle had initiated it and it was Nate she loved. Nate reciprocated and went to break up with Kat, only to find her brother had just died, and told Ricky he had to stay with her and support her.
When they returned from the funeral, Kat asked him to move in with her and he decided to come clean with her about Ricky. After they broke up, he went straight to Ricky, although they agreed to take it slow. He arranged to go to John and Marilyn’s vow renewal with her as a couple. Phoebe asked him to talk to Kat but he arrived to find her passed out drunk and poured her vodka away. However, Kat then turned up at the vow renewal drunk and ranted at him, accusing him of driving women mad by cheating on them. She later apologised but also told him to stay away, prompting him to throw himself into his relationship with Ricky. He insisted on looking after Casey instead of getting a babysitter.
Ricky quizzed him about his father and he told her Gavin was a gambling addict who had dumped him on his grandparents when his mother died, and he hadn’t seen him in ten years. He gave Maddy a check up when she had a cancer scare and gave Kat details of what had killed Trystan Powell. He was shocked when Gavin turned up on his doorstep and Ricky admitted she’d contacted him. Nate thought he was after money and insisted he didn’t need a father anymore but Ricky encouraged him to get to know him. A lunch with Ricky went well and he later shared a friendly games of cards with Gavin. However, when Ricky revealed Gavin had got drunk and manhandled her, Nate ordered him out of town, only for him to be brought into hospital after being in a car crash. When he heard Gavin had driven into a tree on purpose, he felt he had done it to gain sympathy and wanted to walk away, but Ricky convinced him to go back. Nevertheless, he was reluctant to see Gavin when he was discharged but Gavin came to see him and gave him his grandmother’s ring; Nate agreed to keep in touch.
He planned to propose to Ricky and prepared a special picnic for them but when she turned up late and had to leave early he cancelled the plan. He tried again at a barbeque but she invited Ash and Phoebe along and had to take Casey home early. He then made another plan to propose to her over lunch at the Braxton house, only to lose the ring down the sink. By the time he had retrieved it, they had been called away to help search for Oscar. His next attempt was derailed when he was called to look after Irene, who had a cut hand. Ricky then interrupted his next attempt to reveal she might be pregnant. Although the test was negative, it left them thinking they wanted a baby in the near future. He then found out Ricky knew of his plan. Although he put it on the back burner, he proposed to her at Zac and Leah’s wedding reception and she accepted; Leah then announced the news.
Two days later, Ricky got in touch with Nate and told him Brax was alive. After confiding in Irene, he called off the engagement. He treated Casey for viral meningitis; afterwards, Ricky told him she wasn’t going to look for Brax anymore and they became engaged again. He tried to play peacemaker between Chris and Hannah but the meeting he organised descended into an argument and Chris told him to stay out of it. He was upset when Ricky initially kept the fact Brax had visited from him, even though she insisted that she’d chosen him, and was concerned when Ricky hid a toy car Brax had bought Casey from him, prompting Ricky to suggest they get married that week. He rejected the idea, but on learning Kyle was keeping an eye on John and Marilyn’s vacant house he arranged for himself, Ricky and Casey to move in while they looked for a place of their own.
He was called into work when he was supposed to be on a date with Ricky, leaving him too tired to do anything. When Phoebe pointed out that Ricky was feeling neglected, he explained to Ricky that he was saving for a deposit. He helped smooth things over between Hannah and Chris when she was found to have a defective BRCA gene and kept an eye on her after her double mastectomy. He was soon involved in planning a big wedding but eventually agreed to a small but formal ceremony. He directed Zac over the phone to perform a procedure on Hunter when he suffered a tension pneumothorax. He was surprised when Ricky asked to get married in a month, then brought the wedding forward again to two weeks time and Nate ended up arguing with her about her changing her name and about writing their own vows. After they cleared the air, they worked out that Phoebe and Chris were organising a joint stag and hen do for them at Angelo’s. When Ricky was delayed arriving at the service, he prepared to call the whole thing off but soon after she turned up and they were married. They honeymooned in the Palmer house, only to have to vacate it when John returned home, moving back to the annexe of the Braxton house.
Nate was delighted when Casey called him Dadda, only to find Ricky was less so. He then found a text Brax had sent her just before the wedding. He attended the hospital fundraiser without her only to find she had followed him after the event was hit by an explosion. He treated the wounded at the scene, then headed to hospital where he found Ricky about to have surgery; when she came out, Tori Morgan told him she’d had a hysterectomy. He failed to resuscitate Hannah when she collapsed from a head injury and broke the news to Ricky and Chris. He and Ricky had trouble talking about their new situation and he ended up taking it out on Tori, although they bonded when they worked together on a difficult birth. However, they both ended up applying to replace Ben Dawson as head of emergency medicine and Nate was passed over after his suspension was brought up. He made an excuse to get out of viewing a house with Ricky and accused her of not facing up to what had happened. They awkwardly viewed a house together before he told her that Casey was enough for him and they slept together. However, he then saw a message from Ricky on Phoebe’s phone telling her not to tell him what they’d discussed. He quizzed Phoebe and discovered Ricky had said she might have made a mistake marrying him. Although Tori convinced him to smooth things over with Ricky, it resulted in her going away for a while.
On her return, he met her on the beach for a picnic but was uncomfortable when she arranged marriage counselling for them. He and Tori treated a couple shot during a robbery together and when Tori felt ill afterwards he took over her shift, meaning he missed the counselling session. He insisted to Ricky that he couldn’t get away from work and asked her to rearrange it. Tori confided that the couple reminded her of her parents, who died years earlier. He was frustrated again when Ricky hid a birthday card for Casey from Brax. Although Ricky accompanied him to drinks to celebrate Tori’s promotion, she left early and Nate ended up getting so drunk that Tori had to take him home, where he muttered about how Ricky would never love him as much as Brax. He cancelled their counselling session and told Ricky their marriage wasn’t going to work, before summoning Brax back to town. He and Ricky discussed their relationship and he spent some last hours with Casey before saying goodbye to them.
When he learned Tori was being blamed for his and Ricky’s split by the nurses, he made a speech defending her. He was puzzled however when Tori turned down an offer of a coffee. He looked after Alf when he suffered a heart attack and stroke, and after the shift Tori came to his flat with a bottle of wine and fell asleep on the sofa. When he received a photo of Casey, he contemplated cutting off all contact but was confused when Tori refused to let him confide in her. He clashed with Mason when he started working as a student at the hospital, coming down hard on him when he called the hospital out in the sticks and when he moved Alf after he had a fall instead of calling someone, but got on better with him once they both settled down. He met a man who introduced himself as Tim Mitchell but was really Spike Lowe. Spike later attacked him at the hospital and injected him with ketamine, with him only just being saved by the trauma team.
He was convinced by Chris to go on a date with Danika Kulevski and although they failed to hit it off completely he ended up sleeping with her. He stood her up in order to spend the day with Tori but when Tori found out about his involvement with Danika she told him to go for it. However, he was unfulfilled by the casual relationship with Danika and began avoiding her. He explained the situation with Danika to Tori before ending the arrangement, only to find Tori was now dating Duncan. He learned Tori considered him a love rat and got drunk with Chris before turning up on her doorstep to declare his feelings. He tried going back when he was sober but got rebuffed. He had to move back into the beach house when the old Braxton house was sold and looked after Kat when she began suffering panic attacks.
Nate initially turned down Tori’s invitation to join a plane trip to celebrate her birthday organised by Duncan, but after a talking to from Marilyn he turned up at the last minute. The plane then crashed and Nate ended up heading into the bush with Tori and Duncan to look for Brody. They soon began to run out of supplies and Nate convinced Duncan to try and trick Tori into going back to the crash site but she saw through the deception. They were joined by Justin and found Brody had fallen off a cliff, with Nate helping Tori give him emergency treatment. Shortly after Tori confirmed she was now with Duncan, Nate applied for a job with Careflight. He apparently remained unaware that Spike was behind the attack on him, as when he turned up at the hospital with Hope as his captive Nate cheerily greeted his old friend Tim.
He tried to spend his day off cheering up Chris only for Chris to decide to leave town. He helped keep him busy while Irene tried to organise a farewell party and convinced him to attend, then looked after John when he suffered a head injury. He was contacted by Caroline Stewart, who requested marijuana for medicinal purposes, but although sympathetic he had to follow guidelines and only give her the treatments allowed in Australia. He looked after Billie when she had been run over and realised from the blood groups that VJ wasn’t her unborn baby’s father. Billie told him she was raped but didn’t know who by and had hoped that he wasn’t the father. When he found out VJ was quitting school, Nate encouraged Billie to tell him the truth. Then he found out Billie had altered the computer records and she admitted she had always known VJ wasn’t the father. He threatened to tell VJ himself, even though it meant breaking patient confidentiality, and Billie begged him to let her do it. When she was admitted to hospital with high blood pressure, he realised the stress was harming her health and reluctantly agreed to keep quiet. However, when he heard Billie had turned down VJ’s proposal, he suggested it was because she didn’t want to start a marriage based on a lie.
He went to help Hope when she fell down an embankment, injuring his shoulder in the process. He arranged a drink with Tori only to learn she was back with Duncan, so applied for a full-time job with Careflight. Despite his injury, he took part in a charity volleyball match where he was partnered with Tori. When she quizzed him about his plans for Careflight, he replied that there was nothing left for him in Summer Bay. He visited Hope in custody when she had trouble sleeping and provided her diazepam, but left her alone with his medical kit, allowing her to steal more pills and accidentally overdose. He kept his shoulder injury a secret from Careflight and was angry when someone at the hospital broke patient confidentiality to inform them, costing him the position. Tori told him it was her and that she’d been worried that he was pushing himself. Nate took her place on a conference to Bali after she resigned as head of emergency medicine, making up with her before he went.
He returned to find his divorce papers had come through and pointed out to Tori that they were now both single. However, they were interrupted by Bianca returning to town. They arranged a date together then got trapped in a lift where they ended up having sex. Afterwards, they established that they both wanted a relationship. They tried to see each other in secret but weren’t entirely discreet, sneaking off into the office for a kiss. He found Heath collapsed at the wheel and suspected the Morgans were hiding something when their friend Decker was killed. Tori wouldn’t talk to him but Phoebe convinced him to trust her; however, he innocently put the Morgans in danger by causing Ranae Turner to realise Kat had lied to her. He finally found out that the Morgans had been in witness protection when it made front page of the Coastal News and confronted Tori about it. He initially accepted her explanations but then queried her motives for reporting him to Careflight. When he realised she wasn’t telling him the whole story, he broke up with her. Mason told him that he made the call, since it left Nate free to go to the conference which otherwise Tori would have had to go to and be recognised at. Nate went looking for Tori but found she had gone to a conference in Hobart. When she didn’t reply to a message he left for her, he decided to leave town for a while.
He returned soon after to find Tori had been kidnapped by Ranae Turner and Justin had been stabbed while freeing her, with Nate stabilising the latter for surgery. When Billie was brought in, in labour and suffering from smoke inhalation, he tried to convince her to have a caesarean but ultimately helped her have a natural birth, although he had to put her on oxygen afterwards. He then saw Tori getting close again to her ex Riley Hawkins, who Nate had met at the Bali conference. He looked after Marilyn who had been burned in the same fire as Billie and advised Bianca when she was worried about her post-natal psychosis recurring. He found out the blood supply to Marilyn’s hand was gone and treated it with leeches.
Riley made it clear he was still interested in Tori and asked Nate how things stood between them. Nate refused to answer but told Tori they both wanted her. Tori told him she wanted him but he refused to be with someone who wouldn’t make up their mind. He softened slightly when Brody told him Riley had cheated on Tori, but when Riley lied to Tori that Nate had bet him he could win her over and Tori asked Nate if it was true, Nate walked away from her again. He diagnosed Billie with terminal cancer and, when she died on the beach, convinced Ash that VJ taking her out of hospital had made no difference. He diagnosed John with a brain tumour and confirmed it could cause behavioural changes, helping Kat work out that he had started a series of fire including the one Marilyn had been injured in. He was reported for not treating Billie quickly enough but this turned out to be a rumour spread by Riley and Tori quickly cleared him.
He took Tori for a bike ride to clear her head after a night shift, then let slip that he loved her. He tried to claim he didn’t mean it but after a lot of prompting from Justin and Phoebe the couple talked and reunited. When Tori told him she wanted children one day, he replied that he never wanted them. She suggested he was worried about another experience like Casey and said it was a deal-breaker for her, so he said he might be open to it one day. He was then uncomfortable when Phoebe joked about his and Tori’s wedding, saying he never wanted to get married again, but later apologised. Tori then admitted she had been told to make him redundant. He was angry to learn she had refused to make the choice herself instead of defending him. She chose Anna Griffin but found herself accused of being prejudiced by their relationship so Nate resigned.
He gave evidence at John’s trial, saying the brain tumour had caused behavioural changes. He then went away for a while and on his return told Tori he was going to quit medicine. When Zac suffered a head injury, Tori had to order him away from helping out at the hospital and he told her she’d made it impossible for him to stay in medicine. Irene helped him realise she was more important than the job and he made up with her. He tried to defend John to Marilyn when she began to doubt the brain tumour was entirely responsible for his actions, then invited him to move into the beach house. He helped out when he and Tori found Roo collapsed with a ruptured ectopic and took charge when Alf subsequently collapsed at the hospital. Tori suggested he apply to be a doctor again but he told her to forget it. He acted as the face of the burns unit fundraiser John was organising but left on a road trip before the event took place. On his return, he told Tori he’d been offered a job with Careflight in Sydney but had turned it down, leaving her frustrated that he hadn’t spoken to her.
He began to feel things were coming to an end between him and Tori but when he spoke to her she collapsed from high potassium levels and had to be rushed to hospital, leading him to agree to give it another go. However, he missed a date with her to take Leah kayaking when she was down over losing Luc. Tori suggested he take the Careflight job and they try long distance but he felt they should break up. He took her word when she said she was fine with it and rang Careflight to take the job, only to learn he had to go the next day. Alf and Leah took him out for a farewell meal at Salt which they ended up sharing with the Morgans. It soon became clear Tori wasn’t as fine as she’d claimed, as she got drunk and they got into an argument which ended with her throwing a drink over him. However, they exchanged apologies before he left town.