Nevertheless, Nick didn't seem to be entirely obedient to his foster parents' wishes since he ended up dealing drugs for Johnno, the leader of a biker gang. Owing Johnno a large sum of money, he fled to the Bay to get help from his siblings. Against Will's wishes, he went to meet Johnno and received a beating for his troubles, although fortunately Johnno considered that retribution enough and left him alone subsequently. His foster parents were reluctant to have him back when the truth came out but with some persuading from Will and Hayley, plus Ailsa Stewart who they were temporarily staying with, he was able to return home.
When Nick's father Ken arrived in the Bay after getting over an alcohol problem, he petitioned for Nick to come and live with him, Will and Hayley. Nick was less than enthused by the idea, especially when he met Irene Roberts, Will and Hayley's foster mother and Ken's new girlfriend. He didn't like the idea of someone replacing his mum Eve and was angry when he found out Ken had proposed to Irene.
Nick found a kindred spirit in Duncan Stewart and after a run-in with Duncan's father Alf the pair teamed up to vandalise the surf club. Alf's sister Celia quickly saw through their cover story and forced them to admit the truth. Nick continued to go off the rails, wrecking a phone box and arguing with Celia.When Celia was injured after someone threw stones at her, Duncan thought Nick was responsible and started a fight with her.
In fact, though, the culprit was Eve. Unknown to Nick and the other Smith children, she had been placed in a mental hospital. And unknown to Ken, she had been released and contacted Nick while he was in foster care. Nick quickly realised what was going on and went missing to look for Eve. He arrived at the beach house just as Eve was about to attack Irene and defended her.Eve was taken back to the hospital and Nick gave his blessing to Ken and Irene's engagement.
Nick and Duncan smoothed out their friendship and when the Sutherlands arrived in town both of them took an instant liking to Kirsty. They didn't make the best of first impressions:when they had a run-in with her father Rhys they stole the fuses out of their house's fuse box. When Duncan started dating Kirsty's twin sister Jade, the way seemed clear for Nick. The pair bonded when they teamed up to get revenge on Tasha Mills, a girl that had been causing trouble for Will and Kirsty's sister Dani, and soon became an item.
Nick had certain musical asperations and when Ken expressed his surprise Nick proved his ability by putting on a show for him outside the garage where he worked. Tragically, mere hours later Ken was killed in an accident at the garage. Nick felt increasingly isolated in the aftermath, unable to talk to anyone but Jade, with his state of mind not helped by Irene's distant behaviour and Will trying to take on an authoritarian role. Nick even ended up wetting the bed, afraid Irene wouldn't want them now Ken was gone until she assured him that wasn't the case.
Nick had a hard time convincing Rhys that he was right for Kirsty, especially when he was largely responsible for instigating a game of dare that nearly resulted in Jade being arrested for shoplifting. When he made it clear he wanted to spend time alone with Kirsty, some ill-timed comments from Dani caused Kirsty to believe he wanted to take things a lot further than she was ready for until he assured her that wasn't the case.
When Nick, together with Kirsty and Duncan, sneaked out to a party at a warehouse, he ended up damaging a motorbike belonging to local headcase Scott Phillips. Scott's brother Kane made it clear Nick would have to pay for the repair and, seeing no other option, Nick stole some money that Irene had left for emergencies and then arranged to work for Jude Lawson to earn the money back. Before he could do so, Will found out and a fierce argument was made worse when Nick found out Sally Fletcher was selling Ken's old garage to a property developer and it was scheduled for demolition. Nick ended up spending the night in the garage, with Kirsty for company, and dreamed that Ken was with him, telling him that the garage would probably have gone bust anyway since it was in a bad location and if he went back to Irene everything would be all right. When Nick woke up, he did as Ken said and quickly patched things up with his family.
Nick arranged to enter a musical show with Kirsty and Jade and was annoyed when Duncan, who was supposed to be managing them, began encouraging people to come and laugh at them. It was the beginning of the end for their friendship and after Duncan had reduced both Irene and Jade to tears with his cruel jibes the two former friends came to blows again.
With the anniversary of Ken's death approaching, Nick once again found Jade was the only person he could confide in. Although he seemed physically close to Kirsty, he and Jade began to develop feelings for each other and he told her he would break up with Kirsty to go out with her. In the end, Kirsty got in first, having developed feelings for Seb Miller. Jade refused to go out with him, afraid it would damage her relationship with Kirsty, and finding himself an outcast again Nick reverted to type somewhat, dating another girl, Simone Harris, and causing trouble. It wasn't to last—-Nick broke up with Simone when she insulted Jade and earned some brownie points by saving Seb from drowning. After Nick and the rest of the Smith clan had been on a trip to London (during which he attempted to chat up Atomic Kitten, apparently unaware who they were), he and Jade finally got together after some help from Irene and Simone and went on to be one of Summer Bay's most stable and longest-lasting couples.
Nick felt honoured when Will asked him to be best man at his wedding to Gypsy Nash and was horrified to find out he had lost the ring. He sold his computer console in order to buy a replacement and was annoyed when he learned Will had taken it to be engraved without telling him. Nick was left with a spare ring, which Will suggested he give to Jade...
Immediately after Will and Gypsy had left the Bay, Irene's son Nathan turned up having been released from prison. Nick was less than happy to meet his de facto stepbrother and the two nearly came to blows. Not long after, Nick and several of his classmates were involved in a bus accident while on a school trip. Nick was the worst injured, having his legs trapped in the wreckage, and a rescue party including Nathan only just got him clear before the bus caught fire and exploded. Nick ended up in a wheelchair for a while afterwards but thanks to support from Jade he made a full recovery.
Nick was partly responsible for at least two people suffering nervous breakdowns. The first was Hamish "Woody" Woodford, an older boy at school who partly because of Nick baiting him took his class hostage with a (replica) gun. Nick obviously didn't learn his lesson since when Irene befriended former derelict Jim Tyler, Nick, upset that Jim seemed to be replacing Ken, began needling him about his supposedly estranged son. In fact, Jim had accidentally run over and killed his son years before and Nick's forcing him to confront it left him virtually catatonic.
Nick had a hard time coming with Jade's new "live for the moment" attitude in the aftermath of Charlotte Adams' death, especially when she seemed to want to take their relationship to the next level. Nick had to quietly tell her he wasn't ready for that. Not long after, a minor argument between Nick and Dylan Russell led to Dylan's unstable mother Angie swearing revenge. Trying out a trick she had used before, she began attempting to seduce Nick, making him obsess about her. Despite the fact he didn't even like Angie, her mind games caused Nick to take some questionable decisions, making a clumsy attempt to seduce Jade and getting her to let him take suggestive photos of her. His behaviour was so erratic it resulted in Social Services thinking Irene was abusing him.
In the end, Nick was too attached to Jade to cheat on her with Angie and made it abundantly clear to her he wasn't interested. Angie responded by ripping her clothes and claiming Nick attacked her. Nick was charged and many residents thought he was guilty. Jade stuck by him and they slept together for the first time-immediately before he skipped town. Jade tracked him down to a hippy farm, dosed up on "magic mushrooms", and only just managed to get him to his court appearance. Despite Dylan testifying for him, Nick was found guilty and ended up being forced out of school. However, Jade, Kirsty and Seb manage to record Angie gloating to him and with help from Sally they played it in front of principal Paris Burnett. Angie was fired and Nick reinstated.
Nick was forced to join Jade in auditioning for a reality television show, The Dorm. Trying to make Jade look good, Nick put on a deliberately unlikeable performance only to be hired by the producers, who felt he would make a good "bad guy". Almost immediately, Nick discovered that one of the other contestants, Courtney, was a plant aiming to cause trouble. To stop him talking, Courtney clambered into bed with Nick, with the sequence edited to make it look like they had slept together. Nick was the first to be evicted (partly thanks to multiple votes from Jade) and returned to the Bay an outcast yet again.
Despite being able to give his side of the story in a newspaper interview, Nick had a hard time convincing people he hadn't done anything wrong. Relations between him and Jade weren't improved when he started sleeping with Kit Hunter. Upset about Irene's relationship with Paris, Nick stole a car, aiming to leave town. Jesse McGregor stopped him but as a result was accused of the theft himself. Nick eventually confessed and his honesty won over Jade and the others.
When Kane arrived back in town and started seeing Kirsty, Nick and Seb made a failed attempt to drive him away by exposing his part in an armed robbery. However, Nick soon abandoned those ambitions when he learned that his brush with reality television had caught the attention of a major US producer and he was being offered a role in a film. Despite the tensions between them, Nick managed to get Jade, Kirsty and Seb together one last time to say farewell before leaving the Bay for good.
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