Marlene walked into the penguin's HQ holding a small piece of green gelatinous something that was apparently called Jiggles. She was so intent on not letting it slip out of her grasp that she forgot to brace herself for impact. Three penguins flung themselves at her, making absolutely sure she wasn't a spy.

When they realized it was her, they let go. "Come on guys, isn't this getting, I don't know, OLD?" she asked. "Paranoia never has an age!" Skipper shot back. Marlene just rolled her eyes and asked, "Where's Kowalski?"

"Why do you need to kn-"

"He's in his lab!" Private blurted out.

Two angry glares hit him almost immediately. Skipper rolled his eyes. "Yes, he's in his lab, but why do you need to know?" His eyes then drifted to the piece of green gelatin she was holding. "Hey, is that-"

"No!" Marlene blurted out quickly, not wanting to be the source of a fight between the two. "I mean, it's, uh… Jello-O! It's this food the humans like to eat, and I, uh, took it from them. And, uh, Kowalski needs it, eh, for a science project." she said all in one very long stream. With that, she hastily slid to the lab door.

Before she got it open, she heard Skipper's voice again. "Why are you even doing this for him?"

A simple question, really, but Marlene couldn't quite grasp an answer. Finally she settled on "because that's what friends do for each other" although that wasn't true at all. Why she was doing it was for a reason she simply couldn't comprehend yet.

As she opened the door, she began to brace herself for yet another otter-to-wall pinning as she saw Kowalski jump. But instead of heading for her, he scrambled for his invention, a wide assortment of bowling pins, keyboards and electric blankets, and placed his flippers around it protectively, nearly falling off the table in the process before he realized it was Marlene, not a Blowhole spy.

"Ah, Marlene, thank you for your research on Jiggles, how was he?" he asked. She handed him a clipboard that had been carefully hidden behind her back, and he looked over it. "So it would appear Jiggles is ready for mass production as a helpful electro-science plasma launcher!"

"Uh, yeah. I guess it would." Marlene managed to stutter, deciding not to ask what the heck an electro-science plasma launcher was. She turned to leave before she heard his voice behind her. "Could you help me with just one more thing?"

She stopped in her tracks before pivoting to face him. "Um, yeah. Sure."

He held up a small metal machine she recognized immediately as the Lovulator 3000. "Oh, no. No, I'm sorry, I won't do it…" she began before seeing his desperate face. "Okay, fine, whaddya want me to do?"

"Well, I've done some tests and it may have malfunctioned before, but I'm almost positive the Lovulator is working perfectly!" he said triumphantly. "Now, just place your paw here…"

Marlene did as she was told and allowed a small plastic heart with a black dot in the middle to scan her DNA. Immediately the machine began making rapid beeping noises. "It would appear your match is right inside the zoo… scan area small… they're in the HQ… in fact, they're in this room!" He stopped suddenly as he said this to give a horrified glance at Jiggles, who was now gnawing on a grape. "What exactly happened while you were watching him?…"

Marlene couldn't move. She was in shock. Her perfect match was Kowalski? Suddenly, Skipper's conversation with her made perfect sense. THAT was the reason why she was doing all of this! She'd been in love this whole time without even knowing it!


She shook herself out of her daze. "Kowalski… the machine only registers living creatures. Jiggles isn't alive."

"Yes he is…"

"He has no skeletal system, immune system, nervous system, nothing. There's nothing in here that's alive except you and me."

He took a few seconds to process the information before saying, "Well, this is awkward" and clicking his tongue, trying to think of anything to say. Glancing down at the Lovulator, he quickly said, "You don't think it's…wrong, do you?"

A small smile accenting her face, Marlene whispered, "Absolutely not."

Twenty minutes later, Skipper noticed neither had come out of the room yet. His paranoia getting the best of him, he made the other two members of the force interrupt their television program to check on them.

What they saw were Kowalski and Marlene passionately kissing, a variety of supplies knocked off the lab table and strewn carelessly around them.

Private and Rico looked cautiously at their leader, knowing very well his undying love for the only female animal in the zoo. But his face showed no sign of envy or anger, instead it told a story of pleasure. "Um… Skippah, shouldn't we… do something?" Private said, trying to do something other than watch in horror as their leader watched in ecstasy.

"Nah, let them be." was his reply. "Marlene has good taste; she'll be over him in a week. What's the worst that could have happened, they re-took that old Lovulator thing-a-magijer test and discovered they were each other's soul mates?" With a scoff, he turned away and dismissed the matter. Private and Rico shrugged and decided to go back to their television program.

Neither Kowalski nor Marlene opted to tell anyone the truth about what had happened.

Hope you liked it! One-shots are one of my favorite kinds of stories, so expect more from me in the future. (: