I wrote the opening chapters for Imperfect Fit more than a year ago, but never found time to finish it. I would like to complete this one - if I can find the time. What happens in it represents part of the Best Enemies series. This would be a traditional romance with the focus on secondary characters from the show, in this case Jim and Zita - like R-E-S-P-E-C-T dealt with Monique and Will Du.
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners.
Story set about 12 years after Best Enemies. Visit my profile for a fast overview of the Best Enemies universe.
NoDrogs created the twins, whose origin has been completely altered in my stories.
Chapter 1 - See How the Fates Their Gifts Allot
Jim and Zita shouted their throats raw at the concert
"Stop for a drink?" he croaked as he drove back to Middleton.
He ordered a burger to go with his beer, she had a salad with hers.
When the waitress came back to ask if they needed anything else Zita told her no.
"You're going to bed with me sober?" he asked after the young woman left.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Zita replied coolly.
"You know exactly what I'm talking about," he said bluntly. "I'm tired of one or both of us having to drink too much so we can pretend what's going to happen is an accident that won't happen again."
"It's not going to happen again, Jim, I'm stopping it. We're just friends. I wanted an escort to the concert tonight. That's the only reason I asked you. Nothing else. I'm not going to have more than one beer to make sure there are no more of those 'accidents'."
He snorted in disbelief. "There's too much between us."
"There's nothing between us," she hissed. "Nothing real. We get horny sometimes and we use each other. That's all it is. I'm declaring an end to it. I bought the tickets for tonight. You drove and pay here. You'll take me home, then drive yourself home. Period. End of evening."
In the parking lot outside her condo she leaned over to kiss him on the cheek, but his lips met hers and good intentions were quickly forgotten. His arms went around her, drawing her close and crushing her against him. She resisted weakly for about five seconds.
Zita awoke first the next morning. She desperately wished she could blame the alcohol, but after she asked Jim up last night he had refused a nightcap and wouldn't let her have one. His arm around her felt far too good. This was crazy. He was twenty-five. She'd be thirty soon. She moved slightly and without waking up he pulled her closer. She smiled, then cursed herself for enjoying the sensation of his arm around her. Jim was rude and short tempered. She needed their love-making sessions. She needed to stop pretending this wasn't going to happen when they did something together. She needed to stop seeing him. For a minute she considered if she should leave Lipsky and Load and move away from Middleton. She wanted to meet someone her age. There would be no problem if he was five years older than she, why should it matter if she was a little older. Five years is not a little older. She should just enjoy this and not worry…
Jim woke up while the jumble of thoughts swirled in her mind. He pulled her closer and she felt his breath, warm on her ear, as he whispered, "Mornin' Sexy."
He kissed her ear, the side of her throat, and his lips worked their gentle way to the back of her neck as his hand caressed her hip.
Zita sighed, she wanted a sign telling her what to do. "If you leave a mark on my neck you are a heap of trouble!" Perhaps she should accept the way her body responded as the sign she wanted. Zita smiled and turned towards him, her lips responding to his with passion.
"You can skip telling us the positions," Kim told her brother.
"Unless, of course, you've A, got something really kinky to report, or B, it explains why you arrived home this morning in nothing but your tightie-whities," Shego clarified.
Jim wished Kasy and Sheki had not been out in the yard when he arrived home. In fact today he wished he had moved out and found another apartment when Tim got married and left the carriage house apartment. "I don't know why you two are grilling me," he complained.
Shego pointed her index finger at her head and rotated it in small circles. Kim just rolled her eyes, "You don't come home last night--"
"I'm a big boy. You don't tell me what to do!"
"You don't come home last night," Kim repeated, "and the twins come running into the house when I'm trying to get them in the car for church-- By the way, when was the last time you went?"
"You're as bad as Mom," he grumbled.
"Anyway, the girls come running into the house saying Uncle Jim just drove in and he lost his pants--"
"Been taking Ron lessons?" Shego interrupted.
"--and you ask why we're grilling you? You should be grateful we waited until this afternoon instead of giving you the third degree while you were still in your briefs."
"Look, we were laying there in each other's arms, just kind of catching our breath, and I asked about breakfast. And, BAM! I--"
"Hold on," the lawyer requested. "What do you mean, 'you asked about breakfast'?"
Jim thought for a couple seconds, "Well, I said--"
"Say it the way you said it to her," Shego demanded.
He closed his eyes in concentration, then growled, "Woman, what's for breakfast?" He opened his eyes, "I was just being funny."
Kim and Shego looked at each other. Shego shook her head in disgust while Kim rolled her eyes slightly and shrugged. "Perfect thing to say to a woman who got a divorce from an abusive husband."
"Hey that was almost ten years ago!"
"Yeah, you try two years of hell and see how funny you think it is," Shego snarled.
"You're lucky she let you have your briefs," Kim finished.
"She didn't," Jim muttered. "I snagged them off the floor as I headed out."
"And your car keys?"
"I shouted through the door I needed them. She told me to go outside, and she threw them at me. I'm glad no one called the police and had me charged with indecent exposure."
"I'd have made you walk home like that," Shego told him.
"You have to apologize to her," Kim insisted.
"Like hell I will," Jim snorted.
"God," Shego muttered, "are all you Possibles hopeless in the romance department?"
"Excuse me!" Kim demanded.
"You're great in the sack, Princess. And Romeo here may be also. But neither one of you could romance your way out of a brown paper bag… Maybe I should call Erin and ask about Tim."
The three were still arguing about the romantic capabilities of Possibles and Jim's duty to give Zita an apology, and Shego insisting that he send flowers, when Sheki came in the house with the news, "There's a man outside with a bag of stuff he says is for Uncle Jim."
"Wouldn't he give it to you to bring in?" Kim asked.
"Doh," Shego pointed out. "He wants a tip. It's Sunday, so it's not a regular delivery service. My guess is Zita sent Jim's clothes over."
Sheki's news caused Jim to head for the door. "Be sure to tip him," Kim called after his brother. "And you," she said turning to Shego, "what do you mean, I'm not romantic?"
"I love you madly, Pumpkin, but romance? I'll give you a C, but only because I'm in a charitable mood." Shego smiled and waited for Kim to take the bait. Her partner didn't fail her.
"Call Hana and ask if she can babysit Jane tonight. When I'm through with you tonight the smile won't come off your face until Wednesday. Romance? I'll show you romance."
A highly competitive partner who couldn't resist a challenge posed a number of difficulties in a relationship. But approached properly it could be rewarding also.
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Chapter 2 - For A Is Happy, B Is Not
For a couple weeks Jim and Zita managed to avoid each other completely. She sent him two memos via email and he responded appropriately to one of them with an equally business-like reply of his own. She wondered if it could last until the next staff meeting, then remembered he was due to go to the island before the staff meeting. Zita guessed he'd ask her for dinner before he left. She wavered over whether she should say yes or no when he asked.
The brown woman smiled; by the time Jim got back he'd be desperate for female companionship. She picked up the phone and almost punched in his extension -- telling him she'd require a progress report as soon as he got back. She caught herself just in time and put the phone back down. He should call her when he got back. She found herself remembering the night of the concert… If he weren't such a jerk… If he were a couple years older…
In the late morning the day before he was scheduled to leave Jim stormed into her office. She found her heart beating faster. She would say yes when he asked her out for dinner tonight. She expected a smile, but instead he scowled at her.
"What's wrong?" she demanded.
"Drakken and Wade just ordered me to--"
"DO IT!" she snapped, her mood destroyed by his tone of voice.
He glared at her, "You aren't even going to listen to what they--"
"I don't care. I'm sick to death of your complaints and whining. Do it." He still hadn't apologized for what he'd done two weeks ago and wasn't even asking her out for dinner before he left.
"That's it? No listening to me? No asking for my opinion? You can just give orders?"
"I'm not giving you any orders," she retorted coolly. "Whose names are on your paychecks?"
"Fine," he called over his shoulder, slamming the door on the way out.
Too upset to get any work done, Zita took Joss out for a long lunch. The younger woman listened attentively, made appropriately empathic sounds, but so obviously wanted Zita to hook up with her cousin Jim that Zita couldn't vent properly. The Hispanic woman wished it were as easy as Joss seemed to imagine.
As Zita left the office the next day after work Jim's car was still in its assigned spot. "He needs to leave for the airport," she thought as she unlocked her own car. She didn't initially notice that he left the building only a few seconds behind her, and it didn't enter her mind at all that it was too much of a coincidence.
He stood beside his car as she turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened. She made sure the car was in park, then checked the gas gauge, then scolded herself for checking the gas gauge -- even if the tank were empty it would have cranked. She started to pull out her cell phone when Jim rapped on the car window. "Problems?" he shouted.
"Car won't start," she answered, opening her door.
"Let me give you a ride," he offered.
"You need to get to the airport."
"Let me give you a ride," he insisted. Her car wasn't going anywhere with the ignition wires removed.
"Thanks," she said, sliding into the passenger seat as he held his car door open for her.
He said nothing, but a minute later he took the turn away from Middleton.
"Hey!" she started to protest.
"I got to get to airport, remember?"
Zita fell silent. The airport was close and Jim needed to leave, taking her home and then coming back out to the airport would have taken too long. She didn't say anything as the ancient security guard opened the gate to the corporate section of the airport and Jim pulled into a Lipsky and Load spot. She expected him to hand her the keys. "Where do you want me to leave your car?" she asked. "Your place, the lab, or get it back out here for you?"
Jim said nothing, but opened his door and got out.
"You're late," the L&L pilot shouted, heading over to the car to help Jim with any bags.
"Sorry, Rod," Jim apologized, "we were later getting out of the office than I planned."
"We?" Zita asked as she emerged from the passenger side of the car.
Jim hit a switch on his key ring and the trunk popped open, "You'll probably need to carry bags on for both of us," he told the tall, prematurely gray man.
"What in the hell are you talking about!" Zita shouted, "What's this 'we' and 'bags for both of us'?"
"Just following your orders," Jim told her in a cold voice.
"Drakken and Wade told me to take you out to the island with me. I told them it was a mistake. You told me to shut up and do it."
"You didn't tell me what they wanted you to do."
"I tried," he reminded her. He did a high sing-song imitation of her voice, "I'm sick to death of your complaints and whining. Do it."
Crimson with anger, Zita tried to slap him. Jim ducked the swing, caught her arm and threw her over a shoulder. She began to hit him on the back. "Behave," he ordered, and gave her a swat on the rear with a force equal to one of the blows she was hitting him with.
"I, uh, don't know about this…" Rod began. "It, um, sort of looks like kidnapping."
"You get a call from Doc about this?"
"Yeah. He said I'd be flying the two of you out."
"Well, to quote Miss Flores here, whose names are on your paychecks?"
The pilot shrugged and opened the trunk, pulling out two large duffles. Zita stared in shock -- one was hers.
Jim carried her onto the jet and unceremoniously dumped her on a seat, then moved back a little where he could take a seat out of her line of vision.
"Who packed for me?" Zita demanded.
"Joss," Jim told her as he rummaged around in an overhead bin for pillows and blankets. "She said you'd given her a key to your condo so she could water your plants sometimes when you were gone or something."
"I'm changing the locks when I get back."
"Get some sleep, we'll be heading straight for the ship after we land." He tossed her a pillow and a couple blankets, then reclined his own seat and closed his eyes.
Zita couldn't get comfortable. Wade and Drakken had been after her for more than two years to look things over on the island and see if she could come up with recommendations for the operation. She wondered which of them was responsible for this… Maybe Joss, perhaps she thought some time with Jim would get them together. Maybe Jim… The thought was almost pleasant, but Jim seemed as genuinely unhappy about it as she felt at the moment. No, not Jim… She felt disappointed that it wasn't Jim's idea. Exhaustion finally overtook her.
It felt like only seconds after she fell asleep that Jim shook her awake, "C'mon. Can you walk to the taxi or do I need to carry you?"
"Why are you doing this?" Zita groaned.
"'Cause we're all tired of you complaining about the island project. You're either going to see it's run well and shut up -- or you'll figure out a way to improve things."
Jim went down the narrow steps first. She stumbled once in the darkness and he steadied her. Rod had their bags waiting for them beside the taxi.
"You're staying?" he asked.
"Go to hell," she growled, climbing into the old car.
"Someone is grumpy unless she has her eight hours," Jim told him as he loaded the luggage. "You hanging around?"
"Just 'til Cappy John gets back. No one to fly home -- but there could be a report for Middleton."
Jim yawned widely, "Get some sleep. See you in three weeks."
He didn't need to tell the driver where to go. "You can lean on me if you want," Jim told her. "It's about a twenty minutes to the harbor."
"You can go to hell too," she muttered and deliberately leaned in the other direction.
"I'd advise against that," he told her, putting an arm around her and pulling her towards him. "I don't know how good the latch is on the door."
She didn't resist. Pleased that he cared for her safety she leaned against him. The night was cool and Jim was warm; Zita fell asleep immediately.
Zita awoke to daylight and the rocking of the ship. She had no memory of Jim carrying her into the small cabin and tucking her into the bunk. In another bunk a middle-aged woman groaned in pain. "Are you okay?" Zita asked, then realizing it was a stupid question amended it to, "Can I get you anything?"
"Dry land," the sufferer croaked.
"Should I see if there's a doctor around?"
"There is. She's seasick."
Zita left the doctor and went on deck, "Where's my bag?" she called to Jim. "I need to make sure Joss packed my toilet kit." Jim left the two Global Justice agents helping the captain's husband and son trim the sail and showed her where the bags were stowed.
"She's pretty," an agent said when he got back. "Why'd you call her the witch?"
Jim grunted, "Try working under her."
The man grinned, "I wouldn't mind her on top - or underneath."
Jim pressed his lips together tightly and fought back an urge to punch him in the mouth.
Zita found a case of energy bars in her duffle, with a note from Joss telling her to relax and have a great time *wink* *wink*. Zita munched a bar for breakfast and wondered if she'd ever speak to Joss after getting back. She brushed her teeth and went to find the captain. The nickname 'Cappy John' came from a legendary New England skipper with miraculous navigation skills. Since nothing electrical functioned in an almost twenty mile radius of the island the traditional navigation skills came in handy.
Zita noticed her watch wasn't working and assumed they were getting close to their destination. "How long 'til we land?" she called as she approached 'Cappy' at the helm.
The woman checked her watch, a wind-up with the traditional springs and gears, "I'd say hour, hour and a half depending on whether the breeze picks up or not." The effects of the field around the island extended to the electrical components of engines.
The Hispanic woman elected to stay on deck by the captain, enjoying the sun and breeze. "I met the doctor. She'll be happy to land."
'Cappy' laughed, "She started trying to puke before we even cleared the harbor. Worst case I've ever seen."
"What's the weather supposed to be like?" In a cheap romance novel or movie a tropical storm would hit, leaving her and Jim stranded for longer than expected and forcing them together.
The older woman stared at Zita, "You been there before?"
"'Bout six months of heaven, three months hot as hell, and three months of rain. Should be heaven for you."
"I could use a break. And Wade and Doc better not count this as vacation."
As they tied up at the island's dock a bell rang and research and security personal went down to help unload cargo. Without phones, radio, or television the care packages from home were the high point of any week.
With the hold cleared two Global Justice agents, a medical doctor, and two grad students carried their belongings on board for the trip back.
Zita pulled one of the lounge chairs scattered along the beach back into the shade and waited as Jim seemed to talk with everyone. He finally headed her way with a gray-haired man in a Global Justice uniform.
"Colonel Arbuthnot, Rosita Flores. Zita, Freddie Arbuthnot. He's the head of Global Justice on the island. He loves it when you call him sir."
The colonel gave her a dazzling smile, "A lovely lady, such as you can call me anything - or any time. Jim says you're an efficiency expert - out to give us the once over. Tea this evening? I'd like to hear your plans and would like dinner the night before you leave to catch your impressions. I think we run a tight little island here."
"Thank you… Tea?"
"Five-ish. I can expect to see you?"
She nodded and he marched off."
"Marginally competent," Jim remarked when the colonel was out of earshot. "Good heart, but still thinks Britain rules the waves."
"I just want to know where I'm staying."
"Lipsky and Load hut number one," Jim said, picking up his bag and reaching for hers.
She beat him to it, "I'll carry my own, thanks," she remarked coolly.
He shrugged and headed to the main compound.
In front of a small hut he put down his bag and pulled out a key, "There'll be a key for you in here," he said, opening the door and letting her go in first. "The bedroom is the door on the right. Bathroom in back." He paused to bring in two five-gallon containers of water which had been left by the door and Zita put her bag in the small bedroom. "We each get five gallons of fresh water a day. No long showers. If--"
"Stop," Zita ordered. "Two questions. I heard we had flush toilets - do I have to use water ration on that?"
"No, toilets use salt water. We collect wash water, we call it gray water, for irrigation. What's the other question?"
"Where are you staying?"
"No way! You kidnapped me and dragged me out here, there is no way in hell you're sleeping with me."
"Well there's no way in hell I'm sleeping on the beach. And I'm not sleeping with you."
"Don't we have another hut?"
"Yeah, with bunk space for four - and we currently have four Lipsky and Load fellows on the island."
"A guest hut or something?"
"Yeah, well you can thank Global Justice that it's not available. They love the security here so much they bring out people they want to keep in protective custody. That was the first thing I asked the colonel today. We're full up out here."
Zita looked around the main room of the small cabin, "You'll be out here?"
"No," Jim pointed to a small door on the wall opposite the bedroom. "Store room, really more of a big closet, but I'll hang a hammock there. If it makes you feel any better there's no air circulation and I'll be too hot."
"It's a start," she remarked and went in to unpack.
End of what I wrote...
The island has been mentioned in a few other stories. It is where the power core and some artifacts from the alien craft in Team Possible II: City in the Sands were taken for study. The story would explain the way life on the island functioned. The Egyptian theoretically in charge serves mostly as a figure-head. Global Justice provides security, and the commander thinks he runs the place. Lipsky and Load theoretically dictates the research, but since they have no one there full time L&L recognizes they don't really run much any more. The two most dedicated scientists, who fortunately hate each other's guts, actually run the project.
But the focus would have been on Jim and Zita. Zita developed a hard, purely business exterior when she walked out on her abusive husband. Under the hard surface, however, she wants to be loved. With a little tender loving care Zita would be just fine. Unfortunately Jim is wretchedly poor at demonstrating TLC. In some ways his behavior reminds Zita of her ex, which Zita has unfortunately imagined as somewhat normal for men. Jim is different, but Zita has not let down her defenses enough to realize that. And Jim, being a man, isn't very good at communication.