AN: So, two years since I updated last. I had really basically moved on from this story—twenty-six different ways they could have fallen for each other seems like plenty—but then a question popped into my head: would Drakken and Shego ever get married? I thought there were two possibilities: yes, after they'd been together for ages, for some really practical reason like tax benefits or shared bank accounts. Or, possibility number two, they'd get married super fast, on a whim (well, on Shego's whim, and she'd drag him along and he wouldn't complain). And then that second scenario just bugged me until I sat down and wrote it out.

Do I think this would happen? No. But if it were to happen, this is how I would see it going.

. . . . . .

He's being offered his dream job and he cannot even pay attention because Shego's hand is on his thigh and that has never happened before. He wants to turn to her and ask What on earth are you doing, because he doesn't necessarily mind it but really, what on earth is she doing? But he can't because a serious-faced man in dress uniform is looking at him from across the table and offering him the job of a lifetime.

"You understand, of course, that once you're there it's difficult to return to the mainland very often," the general says. "Due to the effort and resources required, we ask that personnel only make the trip once a month."

"Yes, I understand," says Drakken. He's been salivating over this facility for years—even considered seizing it by force a time or two—so he knows perfectly well what going there would entail. "But it would be absolutely worth it. Shego, the equipment they have there . . . just wait until you see it." He turns to look at his seat partner and is taken aback by the look on her face—a tiny smile that says she's happy for him. He doesn't see that smile very often. Maybe ever, come to think of it.

"Yeah, science equipment, something geeky, I get the picture," she says teasingly. Behind her he can see the event staff starting to clear tables; the banquet celebrating his triumphant rescue of the planet is coming to an end. He never expected to get a job offer so soon—he only saved the earth yesterday—but now he has and it's the best job he could have asked for and Shego has her hand on his leg and it's the perfect night.

Or at least it is until the general clears his throat and speaks again. "I may not have made this clear earlier," he says a bit awkwardly, glancing between Drakken and Shego, "but the job offer is only for you, Doctor."

Oh. Oh indeed. Well, it had been the perfect night, anyway, but now everything looks a bit dimmer. Now apparently now he's facing a decision he'd rather not make: the position he's always wanted or the girl he's always wanted.

But that raises a new question: would she even have wanted to go with him?

Through his disappointment he hears Shego respond. "Oh?" she says, and he recognizes it as her pretend-politeness-masking-actual-danger tone.

"Yes, I'm sorry," says the general, "but the facility provides any necessary support staff. Only the scientists we've hired and their spouses are permitted."

"Oh," Shego repeats, and Drakken recognizes it as her pretend-compliance-masking-actual-mischief tone. "Well, that's fine, then. I'm not just his support staff; we're engaged." And Drakken stops breathing.

"Oh," says the general in a tone of sudden understanding. "I see. I'm sorry, I hadn't realized."

"Well, we've been keeping private," she says with a fake sweet smile. "We're very private people. And we've been waiting to tell people until my ring gets back from the jeweler's. We ordered it from . . . Tokyo."

Had his mouth been capable of forming words, he would have pointed out that Tokyo was not internationally known for its jewelers, but he's been frozen since she uttered the word "engaged."

But the general seems entirely unaware that Shego's lying and Drakken's shell-shocked. "Well, congratulations, Miss Go," he says kindly. "That does absolutely change the invitation to include both of you. Would giving your fiance an August start date interfere with wedding plans?"

"No, not at all," Shego lies smoothly. "We're planning a July wedding."

"Sounds nice," says the general, and just then his phone rings. He glances at it. "My daughter. Let me step outside to take this; I'll be right back, Doctor." And he leaves the table.

"Shego," Drakken says stiffly once the general is out of earshot, "what on earth are you doing?"

"Snagging myself an invite to your special science island, for one thing," she says, sounding entirely too pleased with herself.

"Shego," he repeats, "you and I aren't engaged."

"Details," she says airily, waving one hand dismissively. "And that's pretty easy to fix, Doc. Watch this." She turns to face him, clears her throat, and takes his hand in both of hers. "Drakken," she says seriously, gazing at him in a way that she hasn't since that moodulator was on her neck, "let's get ourselves hitched."

"This isn't a joke, Shego," he snaps. "If he finds out you're lying, I could lose this job offer. Is that what you want?"

And she seems surprised. "No," she says. "I can tell you really want this. But I'm definitely not letting you leave without me."

"I appreciate your loyalty," he says. "But pretending to be engaged—"

"I'm not saying we should pretend," she says. "I'm saying we should actually get married."

And now his words are stuck in his throat again, and there's a cacophony of voices clamoring for attention in his head, one saying This is insane and one saying Hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth and one that sounds like his mother saying Grandbabies! But he's a scientist, and he makes himself only listen to the rational voice. "That's insane," he tells her. "People don't get married for things like this."

And she's dismissive again. "People get married for worse reasons than this all the time. For example, Kimmy and the idiot will probably eventually get married because they'll both realize they'll never find anyone else who'll tolerate their stupidity."

"No," he says, and this is making him very uncomfortable but it needs to be said, "people get married because they fall in love."

"Uh huh," she agrees.

"So . . . you and I . . . why would we get married?"

And she finally seems to understand, or at least her expression becomes uncertain. "Ah," she says. "You're not in love with me, is that what you're saying? Because I . . . was pretty sure that you were."

And oh, that is a subject he has spent much more time than he'd like to admit thinking about, but he is not ready to talk about it. So he sidesteps. "I'd more intended to imply that you aren't in love with me."

Her uncertain expression morphs into a wry smile. "Doc," she says, and only a tiny decrease in her usual volume indicates the emotion behind the words, "of course I'm in love with you."

Everything in the room suddenly seems both louder and farther away, and he's left in the middle of this strange abyss with just his pounding heart for company. "Oh," he says. Then, "I wasn't aware."

She laughs and somehow that lessens the strange stillness he feels. "Come on, Drakken," she says. "I hopped on a spaceship to fight aliens for you. I wouldn't do that for my own family, but I'd do it for you." And then she elbows him, hard enough to make him rub his arm. "And you think I want to move to your island of science nerds for my own health and happiness? I would definitely only be going for you."

"Oh," he says again, and the surprise is receding and being replaced by a strange mix of paralyzing doubt and soaring happiness that makes him almost giddy. And this giddiness fills him and he finds himself going along with her craziness, just for a moment. "You don't want to move to the . . . island of science nerds? I don't have to—"

"It's fine," she shrugs. "It's only a year, right? But I get to choose the next place we live. Like I'm thinking maybe New York? We haven't lived in a real city for so long."

And he can't believe that they're sitting here discussing where they'll live once they're married, him and this amazing woman who's always felt so thoroughly out of his reach. "You would really marry me because you don't want me to take this job without you?"

She's been fiddling with the cuff of his sleeve, but at this she slips her hand into his. "C'mon, Doc, this isn't hard. I love you and I want to be with you and once your mom found out we were together, she'd probably nag us until we got married anyway. So, you know, preemptive strike." Then she pauses. "I guess it'd be polite of me to ask, do you want to marry me?" She doesn't even wait for a reply. "But I'm pretty sure you do, right?"

His mouth hangs open, forming around words that never quite make it out into the air, because well yes, he rather does, but that's a difficult thing for him to say, made somehow even more difficult by the fact that talking about it doesn't seem to faze her at all.

But it doesn't matter that he can't speak because she's giving him a knowing look and he knows she's read his answer in his silence and his face. "So let's get married," she says, and elbows him again.

And the jolt frees his tongue. "Most people date before they reach this point," he points out. "We haven't even—"

She shakes her head and sighs. "Here, does this help?" she asks. And she slides her hand around his neck and kisses him and he has absolutely never been kissed like that and it really just takes all the fight out of him.

"All right," he breathes when she's stopped, "ask me again."

She grins. "Marry me."

He nods his agreement and leans in to kiss her again—he still thinks it's absolutely insane and she'll come to her senses at any moment, but he's willing to go along with it for now—and that's how the general finds them when he comes back from his phone call.

"I'll take the job," Drakken tells him.

"Excellent," he says. "I'll contact my residential manager and tell him to expect the both of you August 15, and I'll contact you later this week with all the details. Good to see you Dr. Drakken, Miss Go."

As he walks away, Drakken looks at Shego. "I'm still waiting for you to tell me this has all been a joke."

"Geez, Doc," she says, "what do I have to do to convince you?"

"I'm not really sure," he replies.

And she pauses, looking at something across the room, and then gives him a smile that makes him nervous. "Maybe this will help." And then she's up out of her chair, waving at someone across the room. "Hey Mrs. Lipsky!" she yells, loud enough to echo back from the high ceiling. "Your son and I have something to tell you!"

And Drakken, sitting dazedly in his chair, finds the corner of his mouth tugging up into a smile.

. . . . . .