Roxie and Velma were lounging around backstage after one of their shows when Velma pitched the idea.
They were talking about their past misadventures in romance and, in Roxie’s case, marriage. Both women were smoking; Roxie smoking a cigarette and Velma puffing on an expensive cigar.
“Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about marriage. It’s just dooming you to a life of being tied down and can only lead to heartbreak, murder, or a boring life with children,” Velma drawled, uttering the last word like it was made of poison. “I don’t understand why anyone would choose to chain themselves to such a shitty life when they could have what we have; glitz, glamour, money, cigars.”
“You can still smoke when you’re married,” said Roxie. “I went through a pack every other day when I was dealing with Amos. That man doesn’t know the first thing about treating a woman right.”
“You mean treating a woman wrong and then giving a mediocre apology in the form of money and sex?”
“Same difference,” Roxie shrugged, taking a drag of her cigarette. “But the tax benefits sure did help. I probably wouldn't have married Amos if it wasn't for the tax benefits.”
Velma looked up. “Tax benefits?”
“Yeah,” Roxie said. “If you get married, you can, like, file taxes jointly and your tax rate is lower and you get more tax deductions. It’s kinda complicated, but you end up with more money than you would if you ended up alone.”
“Huh,” Velma said quietly. She hadn’t known that. A silence formed between them. She could really use some extra money; the turnout for her and Roxie’s shows has been dwindling, and they’ve been low on cash for a couple of months. There’s just not enough attention on us anymore, Velma thought. If only there was a way to draw media attention to us and earn money… Velma suddenly formed an idea.
“Huh?” Roxie said, stirred from her thoughts.
“What if we got married?”
Roxie did a double take. “Why would I want to do something like that?” she asked incredulously.
“If we get married, we can do that joint tax thing, or whatever, and save money," Velma explained. "And we can get the spotlight back on us! The press already goes nuts over gay marriage, but when they see that it’s between Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, they’ll flip their lid!”
Roxie considered the idea for a few moments, and then shrugged. “Sounds smart to me, but there’s one issue. I don’t really feel that way about you, you know, like, romantically.”
“Neither do I,” said Velma, taking a drag from her cigar. “That’s why we’ll fake it. It’ll be just like our murder trials, except this time we’re pretending to be in love with each other. It’ll be easy. And we can still mess around with anyone we want.”
Roxie was convinced. “All right, but I’ll need to do more of the talking, seeing how I’m the one with marriage experience,” she said.
Velma rolled her eyes. “Whatever you want, babe.”
Roxie looked at her quizzically.
Velma snorted. “I’m practicing for when we’re in public. We can’t say we’re getting married and seem like we just met.”
Roxie nodded. “Right.” She paused. “…honey.”
Velma laughed. “That’s a good start!” she joked.
She stood up and stretched her arms. “I’m gonna go practice making loving faces in the mirror, so I’ll be gone for a couple of hours. Let me know if you need anything.” Velma smirked and blew Roxie a kiss with exaggerated hand motions. “Au revoir, mon cheri.”
Roxie rolled her eyes. Once she was left alone, she let out a breath that she didn’t know she was holding. Little did Velma know that Roxie did have feelings for her, ever since they met. Romantic and sexual. But mostly romantic. She sighed as she put out her cigarette. “What am I going to do?” she whispered to herself.