A Fairytale Love
Nikolas and Emily met as teens and were part of General Hospital’s teen story of the late 90s, along with Lucky Spencer and Elizabeth Webber. The four were known as the Four Musketeers and were involved in several mysteries and adventures around Port Charles. Nikolas and Emily were best friends, and as they got closer Emily began to develop romantic feelings for him. However, she didn’t feel that Nikolas returned her feelings at that time, so she started to date Juan Santiago instead. Emily left town in 2001 and returned in 2003, hiding the fact that she had developed breast cancer. She reconnects with Nikolas, and convinces him to fake a romantic relationship with her, so she can hide her diagnosis from her ex-boyfriend, Zander Smith. Nikolas agreed because his uncle, Stefan Cassadine, had been pressuring him to marry Lydia Karenin, a wealthy heiress who can save his family from losing their fortune, and he was looking for a way out of the marriage.
Friendship Becomes Romance
Emily and Nikolas became engaged, despite protests from Stefan and Zander. On the night of their engagement party, a hitman hired by Stefan accidentally throws Summer Holloway, Lucky’s girlfriend, over a cliff to her death in an attempt to murder Emily. As Emily battled breast cancer, Nikolas became her most trusted confidant. As their feelings grew, Emily became torn between Nikolas and her first love Zander. Nikolas develops true romantic feelings for Emily, but Emily decides to tell Zander the truth. Zander and Emily reunite and she begins an aggressive chemotherapy treatment. Nikolas marries Lydia, but Emily discovers he is in love with her after overhearing a conversation between Nikolas and his wife. Emily and Nikolas confess their feelings for each other, but decide not to act on them because of her illness, Zander and Lydia.
A Miraculous Recovery
Emily was forced to stop chemotherapy because it was destroying her immune system. She soon develops meningitis and believing she would die, she married Zander as her last gift to him. Shortly after, she lapses into unconsciousness and dreams of kissing Nikolas, who happens to be in the room next door. Emily eventually enters remission and fights her attraction to Nikolas. Attempting to make her marriage work, Emily moves in to a new home with Zander. However, Emily and Nikolas could no longer deny their love. Zander caught the two kissing at the cottage, and Emily finally found the courage to end her marriage to Zander and begin her life with Emily.
Port Charles Hotel Fire
Nikolas and Emily hold an auction at the Port Charles Hotel to sell some Cassadine family treasures, when the entire hotel catches on fire. Nikolas gave his spot to Emily on the last helicopter evacuating guests, in a romantic gesture, leaving audiences clamouring for more Nikolas & Emily. The couple was separated for several episodes presumed dead. Viewers ached for Emily to be reunited with Nikolas. He returns home dirty, ane exhausted to find Emily fearing he had died and their future together gone forever. Zander, who lost his father in the hotel fire, became increasingly unstable. He took Emily hostage and tried to kidnap her, but he later let her go and is gunned down by the police. He dies in Emily’s arms.
Forget Me Not
Nikolas was driving home from buying Emily an engagement ring when he heard of the hostage situation. It caused him to get into a car accident that lead everyone to believe he was dead. However, in reality, war widow, Mary Bishop took him in. The grieving widow told Nikolas (who was suffering from amnesia due to the head injury from the car crash) Emily and his family to believe he was dead. Mary’s husband, Connor Bishop, who looked identical to Nikolas, had been presumed dead in the Iraq War. Mary lies spiraled out of control and convinced him that he was her late husband, Connor.
Emily convinces Lucky to go on a trip to Mexico that Nikolas had planned for them, and is stunned when she spots Nikolas, who was there with Mary to renew the vows she had made with Connor. Deciding not to force Nikolas’ memory to return, Emily confronts Mary back in Port Charles, but decides to keep the truth from Nikolas, remembering the trauma her brother Jason Morgan endured because of his own memory loss. When Nikolas finally learns that his friends and family knew who he really was and didn’t tell him, he rejects them in favor of a life with Mary. Lucky, who had been Emily’s support through this ordeal, admits he has romantic feelings for her, but she gently rebuffs his advances. While Emily decides to become a doctor like her parents, she also carefully worked to unlock Nikolas’ fragile mind, and when Nikolas finally remembers Emily, the two reconcile. A distraught Mary goes insane and murdered Sage Alcazar and another teen before she is shot and killed by Nikolas. Nikolas and Emily get engaged again. Unhappy with the news, Nikolas’ grandmother, Helena Cassadine attempts to murder Emily, but Nikolas stops her by throwing Helena over a cliff.
Nikolas & Emily were married during a beautiful winter wedding on December 2, 2004. Emily was given a “fairytale wedding” Complete with a Cinderella-style gown, and diamond tiara. Nikolas & Emily fans had waited what felt like eternity to witness the couple exchange their vows. Tyler & Natalia each gave moving performances. Nikolas & Emily’s wedding night was cut short, and Nikolas was sent to prison for the “murder” of his grandmother Helena Cassadine (she wasn’t really dead). Poor Emily. It sucked to be Nikolas that day too, because he got shot trying to escape police custody.
A Woman’s Journey
Mary’s husband, Connor Bishop, who had gone AWOL and faked his death, came to town on orders from Helena. His task was to kidnap Emily, which he does. After a confrontation and struggle with Nikolas, Connor is shot. Nikolas, Lucky, Elizabeth, and Emily debate about turning Connor in for being AWOL, but agree to help him escape to Canada. When Connor foils their plans, to spare Emily the pain of a trial, Nikolas pled guilty to Helena’s murder, and the two married before he was sent to prison. Connor returned to town again with orders from Helena to seduce Emily. Believing Helena is alive, Emily convinces Connor to pretend he is Nikolas, as she instructs him on the finer arts of being a prince. Connor becomes obsessed with Emily, and rapes her. After, Emily manages to kill Connor. Elizabeth and Lucky arrive, and while Lucky buries Connor, Elizabeth tries to get Emily to admit Connor raped her. Emily’s attack caused her to emotionally pull away from Nikolas.
Helena resurfaces, kidnaps Emily, and shoots Lucky, who tries to save Emily. Lucky falls into a coma, and Emily confesses that she was raped to her first friend. When Lucky recovers, he moves into Wyndemere with Emily, and attempts to help her recover from the rape. In prison, Nikolas becomes concerned about Emily’s reluctance to touch him, and she admits Connor raped her. Helena is captured, though Nikolas is devastated that Emily cannot be with him because he looked just like her rapist. Helena’s capture led to Nikolas’ release from prison.
Emily forced herself to be physically intimate with Nikolas, but she was unable to connect with Nikolas and this put a strain on their marriage. Nikolas’ befriended Courtney Matthews, who was in her own strained marriage to Jasper Jacks. Nikolas and Courtney soon embarked on an affair. Eventually the truth of the affair came out and Jax ended his marriage to Courtney. Emily and Nikolas divorced as well. Soon after Courtney became pregnant and it was unclear if the father was Nikolas or Jax. When Jax learned that Nikolas was the father, he switched the results of a DNA test in order to protect Courtney and the baby from Helena. When Sonny Corinthos learned that Nikolas was having an affair with his sister, Courtney, he offered Emily a place to stay, because she is Jason’s sister. Jason was out of town with his girlfriend, Sam and unable to help Emily at the time, so Sonny offered and Emily decided to stay at his place. While staying with Sonny, Emily took care of his his boys, Morgan and her nephew, Michael. She began to feel of value again.
Raising Spencer Together
Because of Courtney’s illness, a C-section was necessary to save the baby, which lead to her death. Jax still claimed to be the father but within months, Robin Scorpio-Drake revealed the truth to Nikolas at the baby’s baptism. Nikolas renamed his son, Spencer Cassadine to honor Lucky and Lulu, and when Spencer was re-christened, Nikolas chose Emily to be his godmother. Spencer’s nanny became attached to the baby and took him away for a short time. Her efforts thwarted when Helena returned to town attempting to kidnap Spencer herself as the perfect revenge against Nikolas. Nikolas and Emily worked together to get Spencer back. Emily even allowed herself to be taken hostage by Helena in order to save Spencer.
Overtime Nikolas and Emily grew closer, their friendship deepening. Sonny ended things with Emily to give her a chance at a happy life and brilliant medical career free of the threat of violance. This wasn’t Emily’s choice, but she accepted it and focused on medical school and being there for Nikolas and Spencer. In early 2007, Nikolas and Emily once again became romantically involved. They attended a fundraiser at the Metro Court Hotel and became trapped inside together when a group of mercenaries, led by a plastic surgery disguised Jerry Jacks, took over the Metro Court to find a package that Lorenzo Alcazar left in the hotel’s security vault. Nikolas and Emily both helped care for an injured Robin after she was shot by Jerry, and Nikolas supported Emily when her father Alan Quartermaine died, as the result of a heart attack he suffered at the incident’s conclusion. A few months after the Metro Court crisis, Jerry, using the alias James Craig, injects Nikolas with an experimental poison in a bid to have Nikolas finance a new life for him with the Cassadine fortune. Robin discovered Jerry with Nikolas, and Jerry forced her to pretend she was involved with Nikolas. This also forced Nikolas to end his relationship with Emily.
Love Never Ends
Emily eventually learned the truth about Jerry’s blackmail and worked with Robin, Elizabeth and Dr. Patrick Drake to develop an antidote that would save Nikolas’ life. After this ordeal, Nikolas and Emily resume a romantic relationship. Nikolas goes on to experiences periods of rage where he begins to blackout. He discovers that he has beaten Logan Hayes and stabbed Jerry, while several other women in town are strangled to death by the Text Message Killer. Emily convinces Nikolas to have tests performed, but he insists on throwing a ball first to honor their renewed love. Dubbing it the Black and White Ball, he invites all of their friends to come and celebrate he and Emily. The night of the ball, Nikolas proposes to Emily, and she accepts. The celebration took a turn for the worse, when maniacal mob boss, Anthony Zacchara bulldozed his way into the ball and began terrorizing guests. Tragically later that night, Emily was strangled to death by the Text Message Killer, who had also infiltrated the ball to terrorize guests. Nikolas was devastated by Emily’s death and Elizabeth had to pull him away from her body.
Helping Nikolas Let Go
Nikolas’ grief for Emily went on for months. He had a hard time letting go of Emily and due to the tumor in his brain, he started to see Emily in visions. When his loved ones tried to get him to have surgery to remove the tumor, he refused, not wanting it removed because it allowed him to see Emily. He also hoped that his hallucinations would help lead him to the identity of Emily’s killer. Nikolas soon discovers that Lorenzo’s presumed dead son, Diego Alcazar is the Text Message Killer. Nikolas hunted Diego down and confronted him. The two got into a fight and Diego is inadvertently killed when chains become wrapped around his neck. Dr. Ian Devlin tells Nikolas he has an experimental drug that will allow him more time with his visions of Emily, and Nikolas agrees to pay him ten million dollars. He also starts a program to allow patients without insurance to be treated at General Hospital, much to the pleasure of Emily’s mother. Dr. Monica Quartermaine. Convinced that Emily would want this and for the sake of his son, Nikolas finally decides to go forward with the surgery that will remove his tumor and his visions of Emily. Emily visits one last time, leaving her engagement ring in his hand. They share a poignant goodbye while he is undergoing surgery. Nikolas awakes with her engagement ring in his hand, the surgery a success. He later establishes a clinic in Emily’s honor, naming it the Emily Bowen-Quartermaine Clinic.
On March 18, 2014, the night of Nikolas’ engagement party to Britt Westbourne, Emily’s spirit visits Nikolas and counsels him over his feelings for Elizabeth and Britt. Before she leaves, Nikolas tells Emily that she is still the best thing that’s ever happened to him.