Roxie/Velma slash, Lena/Roxie slash. Lena is an original character I have created, and the story is told by both Velma and Lena. I've researched this story pretty thoroughly, so everything should be anachronistically correct.

The title comes from jazz slang popular in the 1920s. A baby vamp being an attractive girl, the bearcat a fierce woman and the choice bit of calico a desirable woman.

The Baby Vamp, the Bearcat, and a Choice Bit of Calico.

Chapter One: Small Town Girl, Big City Lights (Lena)

Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, and Lena Bratton.

The latter name will never be seen on a marquee, but for much of my life I've been pushed to have my name in lights, to be billed with the big guns, the girls of the silver screen.

This has never been my dream, but rather, my mother's, an ill-forgotten stage actress frustrated with her lack of success and damage left as time goes by. Once a beautiful starlet, she is now a shadow of her former self.

But I shun the spotlight. I'm too shy and I suffer from terrible stage fright. I want to be a writer; I want to take beauty and capture it on paper, not be a beauty on a screen.

I hail from Astoria, Illinois. My father's deceased from illness over fifteen years ago and my mother has, thinking she's performing a good deed, sent me to the Royal Garden, a nightclub, to become a stagehand. Her philosophy is that by working behind the scenes, I learn to appreciate the art of entertainment first hand. She doesn't understand that I can't spend my twenties, the best years of my life chasing idle dreams.

But I've never been one to stand up to Mother. I've come from a town of relatively quiet means to Chicago: home of debauchery, sin, and bootlegged liquor. And for what? To fall in love with a dashing actor and dominate the stage as Lena Bratton: Queen of Vaudeville?

I've never been in love though. I had one boyfriend, Thomas Duncan, who wrote plays for the local theater but we soon drifted apart, once mother started living vicariously through me. Thomas eventually met a girl named Chelesa Rochester and began a family with her. And I came here.

So now I stand alone in Chicago where her dreams will like candles, flicker and die.