Rhona invites Vanessa to Emmerdale after she fires her locum vet. Paddy becomes jealous of Vanessa and Rhona's friendship. Vanessa later humiliates him in front of Edna Birch, when they discuss payment for her dog's treatment.
In the local pub, Vanessa eyes up Andy Sugden at the bar and suggests that she and Rhona go on a night out. When Vanessa goes to Butler's Farm, she walks in on Moira Barton and Cain Dingle kissing. She returns the next day and apologizes to Moira. They sit down together and tell each other about their pasts. Vanessa is distraught when Katie Addyman's horse dies whilst in her care. Katie threatens to sue Vanessa but Rhona helps calm the situation down.
Paddy later helps Vanessa look for a flat but she is distracted by a fire across the road. Vanessa learns that Rhona is addicted to painkillers, after becoming hooked after having trouble with back ache. She tries to help Rhona but it just gets worse. When Rhona and Paddy go on a weekend away with friends Marlon Dingle and Laurel Thomas, Rhona buys painkillers and takes them. As a result, Rhona misses Leo's first steps and tells Paddy that she does not feel well, asking him to take her home but then go back to the cabin while Vanessa looks after her. Vanessa confronts her about stealing painkillers from Sandy Thomas, leaving him in severe pain. Rhona denies it until Vanessa says she can have more painkillers if she admits it and she does. Vanessa then refuses to give her anything and Rhona slaps Vanessa. Vanessa then tells Rhona that she needs professional help for her addiction. Vanessa realizes that she has feelings for Rhona and tries to help Rhona wean herself off the painkillers. Eventually, Vanessa realizes what she is doing and warns Rhona that if she doesn't stop, she will end up in the hospital or even worse dead. Rhona ignores this and pushes Vanessa to give her drugs. Vanessa eventually tells Rhona how she feels but Rhona rejects her, claiming her feelings are "wrong". Vanessa is distraught but continues to give her the painkillers. Rhona eventually visits a drug dealer for more drugs but starts coughing up blood, so Vanessa takes her to the hospital. On their return, Paddy confronts Rhona as he thinks she is cheating on him. When he tries to look at her phone, Rhona lashes out and hits him repeatedly but Vanessa supports Rhona and wanting more drugs, Rhona reveals that she is in love with Vanessa and kisses her passionately. Vanessa and Rhona begin a brief affair but are rumbled when Paddy catches them kissing. Paddy refuses to believe Rhona is a lesbian and stays with Marlon and Laurel. Rhona tells Vanessa that she was only using her to get painkillers, insulting her and throws her out. Vanessa stays with Moira and learns that Rhona has overdosed and meets Marlon and Paddy at the hospital. There, Vanessa tells Marlon, Paddy, and Moira that Rhona is addicted to painkillers and why she lied to Paddy. Paddy attacks Vanessa but Marlon and Moira restrain him. Rhona wakes up and Paddy tells her that he knows about her addiction before throwing Vanessa's belongings out on the street. Angrily, Vanessa tells Pearl Ladderbanks that she and Rhona kissed, making Pearl wonder if Rhona is a lesbian before moving in with Moira, Cain and Moira's son Adam Barton. Moira tells her that Rhona will be released from the hospital soon.
Rhona is discharged and decides to go "cold turkey", rather than go to rehab. Vanessa learns of this and is concerned for Rhona's welfare. Paddy threatens to sack Vanessa but she reminds him that she is a partner, so he cannot and buys Nikhil Sharma's house. Following Cameron Murray's hostage siege at The Woolpack, Diane Sugden and Chas Dingle stay with her until the pub is complete. When Declan Macey evicts Dom Andrews and his daughter, Gemma, Vanessa gives them a place to stay. Vanessa accompanies Dom to the hospital when Gemma is found unconscious and is upset when Gemma dies. She attends Gemma's funeral and helps Dom through the day. In May 2014, Vanessa helps Moira prepare for her wedding day to Cain. After Moira's nephew, Pete Barton has a bust-up with his girlfriend, Debbie Dingle, he confides in Vanessa and they kiss. They both regret it but Debbie sees them hugging.
After visiting Moira, Vanessa panics when she notices the ketamine is missing from her vet bag as Adam, has stolen it and taken a large dose. Paddy urges Vanessa to call the police and Moira is questioned. Vanessa goes on a night out and has a one-night stand with a young man, who appears to be in his 20s. She boasts to Leyla Harding about her new boyfriend and realizes it is Priya Sharma's soon-to-be 17-year-old stepson, Kirin Kotecha. She visits Kirin and they agree to continue their relationship in secret but are caught by Priya and Leyla. Priya demands Vanessa and Kirin end their relationship for good but Vanessa and Kirin are caught again by Paddy. Kirin later tells Priya and Rakesh about his relationship with Vanessa, angering Priya. After months of dating Kirin, Vanessa decides to end their relationship, fearing being subjected to gossip. Kirin goes out drinking and while driving his father's car home, he collides with Moira's van and sends her sliding off the road. She is rushed to the hospital and Kirin faces Moira's husband, Cain. Vanessa is furious with Kirin but forgives him and they reconcile. On his birthday, Kirin notices a lump on one of Vanessa's breasts and they both fear it could be cancer. Kirin promises to support her and Vanessa books a hospital appointment but fails to do so. This leads to Rhona supports Vanessa but gets the all clear.
While taking a break from her relationship with Kirin, Vanessa has a drink with Adam as they are both upset with their respective partners and have a drunken one night stand. They agree to keep it a secret, not wanting to risk hurting Kirin and Adam's girlfriend, Victoria Sugden, and try to carry on with their lives. However, Vanessa learns that she is pregnant and isn't sure who is the father. She tells Rhona, who tells her that if she keeps the baby, she has to tell Kirin and Adam. Kirin is ecstatic at the thought of becoming a father but Adam is terrified. Kirin and Vanessa tell Rakesh that she is pregnant and he demands Vanessa have an abortion. Vanessa refuses and Adam tells Moira that the baby could be his, which strains her friendship with Vanessa. Unable to deal with the stress, Vanessa books a DNA test with Adam present. However, when the nurse leaves, Kirin arrives and Adam hides upstairs. When Adam's mobile phone rings, Kirin realizes that he is upstairs and believes that they are having an affair. Vanessa tells him that it is not an affair but Adam could be the baby's father. Kirin then tells Victoria, leaving her disgusted. The following day, Victoria slaps Vanessa but Rhona intervenes. Not wanting his son to be a father yet, Rakesh steals the test results which show that the baby is Kirin's and edits them to make everyone believe that Adam is the father.