It was truly a love story on the scale of Titanic. In the heat of summer 2003, tall, deadly, and handsome Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) declared his intentions toward San Diego resident Titan (NYSE:TTN). As a token of his desire, Lockheed produced a rock worth $1.8 billion and, silencing Titan's protestations that she had massive credit card debt, promised to pay off the entire $540 million debt sometime in the "happily-ever-after" stage of their relationship.

But Titan's debt was not her only secret. Titan had a dark past. Skeletons in her closet and shady payments to foreign officials that would ultimately get her in trouble with the law. Within a few months, the G-men from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission would come a-knocking.

And so it was that, after months of counseling, the two companies parted ways less than a year after their courtship began. Debt Lockheed could handle, but he hadn't bargained for trouble with the law. Titan, heartbroken, tried to get on with her life. Until one day (today, as a matter of fact), a city slicker in bright shining pinstripes rode by and scooped her up on the rebound.

Friday morning, New York's L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL) bid $2 billion in cash and $680 million in debt assumption to win Titan's hand -- a considerable premium to what Lockheed was willing to pay just a couple of years ago, but only a small premium over Titan's recent share price. Worse, it appears Titan has been consoling herself since the breakup with Lockheed by loading up on the Haagen-Dazs and spending her weekends at Saks, wielding her credit card with abandon. One year ago, Titan's debt load stood at just $540 million.

None of which seems likely to dissuade L-3, which carries $2.2 billion in long-term debt of its own -- more than twice its annual operating income paycheck. If the relationship is consummated, this looks likely to be a couple that will live life on the margin. (Speaking of which, for those looking to send an economical wedding gift, we'd suggest an invitation to the Fool's own Living Below Your Means board, where the happy twosome can get some pointers on controlling their spendthrift ways.)

Here at the Fool, we wish them all the best.

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Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned above.