Once upon a time there was a man called Benjamin. He married a beautiful woman called Jennifer, and they had a beautiful daughter who looked nothing like them for some reason, whom they named Jadzia. And then they had a son, who actually looked more like his parents.
But the boy would not live a week before tradegy struck his family. First he himself was kidnapped by some paranoid Romulans before he was even named. And before they could try to rescue him, Jennifer was killed by the Borg.
His son was forgotten as Benjamin mourned for a while. Then, as Jadzia was still young, he decided to remarry.
But maybe he should've looked around a bit more, because he ended up marrying a real bitch by the name of Adami. She had previously been married to a Cardassian, and had two daughters who, oddly enough, also looked nothing like their parents. The elder, about Jadzia's age, was named Nerys, and the younger, who bore a striking resemblence to Jadzia, was named Ezri.
Adami was evil, and both Nerys and Ezri were miserable. All three of them took these qualities out on Jadzia. Nerys and Ezri bullied her (despite the fact they were both smaller), and Adami put poison in her raktajino. But Benjamin drank the poisoned raktajino and died. Adami barely managed to cover up the murder, and decided to be on the safe side, and let Jadzia live. She did, however, turn her into a servant. For the next ten years of her life, poor Jadzia slaved away while Nerys entertained her two boyfriends, Bariel and Shakaar, both of whom she was seeing behind the other's back, though only on pressure from her mother, and Ezri tried to hide the fact that she was the most confused girl in the world.
And so Jadzia was at a nice marriagable age when one day, Adami was out on important business somewhere, Nerys was out with Bariel (Jadzia had just managed to convince Shakaar that Nerys was indisposed at the moment and send him away), and Ezri was out secretly getting counseling that noone in the house knew about. She'd done a few tricks to make it look like she'd done all the work, while she was actually taking a nap in the cinders. Her step-family called her Cinderzia because of her habit of doing this.
She jumped up when she heard a knock on the door. "Back already, Nerys?" she yelled. "Open the door yourself."
The knocking continued, leading Jadzia to assume it wasn't Nerys. So she plodded up to the door and opened it.
On the other side was what looked like a simple beggar, but he sure was handsome for one. "Oh, good," she said. "I could use someone to share lunch with so I can justify stealing from my stepmother."
Now, though Jadzia didn't know it, this beggar was in fact the Prince Julian, heir to the throne, indulging one of his secret pastimes. He had just been turned away from every other house on the block, so he was glad she would let him in, especially because he half fell in love with her at first sight. Jadzia took some azna, some hesperat, and a pair of jumja sticks, and she and the begger, who introduced himself as Subatoi, had a very fine lunch. During it, they ended up having one of those weird heart to hearts that are extremely useful in helping plotlines along and getting princes to fall the rest of the way in love.
By the time he left after lUnch, Jadzia would have rather he'd stayed; nice company came by very rarely. Not only that, but he was so very handsome. But in no time, Nerys returned, then Ezri returned, then Adami returned, and life went on as usual. Meanwhile, Julian went home and told his high-ranking friend Miles he was in love with a servant girl.
Well, Miles didn't quite know what to make of this. So he went to Julian's rather strange mother, the Grand Queen Lwaxana, and told her Julian wished to marry. He didn't mention whom he wished to marry, thinking Julian could explain that better himself. Not to mention he didn't want to be around when the Queen threw one of her fits.
And so, shortly after his meeting with Jadzia, Julian found himself called by his mother into the throne room. He never went into the throne room if he could help it. It was a huge affair with enough jewels to blind a Vulcan.
His mother herself was seated on her throne when he arrived, another huge affair with enough jewels to blind a Vulcan. So he stood a safe distance.
"So, son," she said, all regally and majestically. "You wish to marry."
"Yes, mother, I do." He'd talk to Miles later about keeping secrets.
"I congratulate you, son. What is the name of the lucky girl?"
"Uh..." Because, as it happened, Julian had forgotten to ask Jadzia for her name. "I don't know her name," he finally admitted sheepishly.
"Very well, then," answered Lwaxana, not asking how Julian could fall in love with a girl he didn't even know the name of. "We shall throw a ball in your honor and invite every maiden in the kingdom. She's bound to show up."
Knowing better then to argue with his mother, Julian agreed. So Morn, the court messenger, was sent all around the kingdom to deliver the message.
Of course Adami received an invitation, with the note to bring all available girls in the house with her to the ball. So she killed Bariel, told Nerys to break up with Shakaar, and arranged for Jadzia to be engaged to a very ugly Klingon.
Jadzia had decided that if she wanted to marry anyone, she'd rather it be the begger she had just met, but she didn't have much time to think of her new misfortune, since she of course had to do all the work for her stepsisters going to the ball. She decided against making the two girls, both of whom lacked a sense of fashion, bad dresses, on the grounds that that was just too obvious, so both of them looked remarkably pretty on the night of the ball. Shortly before the ball, she also went to her stepmother and asked to go herself. "I've been working my butt off," she argued, "so I think I deserve some fun. I know I'm engaged, but I won't tell anyone if you won't."
"You know you can't," Adami replied. "You've nothing to wear, and if the Klingon finds out, he'll kill us all."
Jadzia thought that if the Klingon was that mean she definitly did not want to marry him, but since she couldn't do anything about that at the moment, she saw her step-family off in the huff. Then she did her usual tricks and sat down in the cinders. She was just falling asleep when a voice said, "Oh, don't stay there. You'll make my job much harder." She looked up.
Standing there was a Ferengi in a tuxedo and plently of sparkling jewels. "Oh, hello," she said. "And what is your name?"
"I'm Quark, and I somehow got stuck being your fairy-Ferengi. I'm going to have to give you stuff for free!" He shuddered. "Though I have to admit, such a pretty girl I might not mind that much."
His leering on this last sentence was a little disturbing, but Jadzia was too practical to make a fuss over it. "So will you give me stuff to get me to ball? I certainly can't go as I am now."
Quark nodded. "Okay, you'll first need a coach. I don't suppose you have any pumpkins?"
"Well", said Jadzia, "we do have some Tellerian pumpkins out back."
"They'll do." She showed him the pumpkins and he chose the biggest. He waved his hand around it, but stretched too far to do so and fell over it. It started to grow very quickly, so in no time poor Quark was stranded on top of a splendid-looking coach. Jadzia tried to hold back laughter as she watched Quark fidget and finally fall to the ground in a heap.
He jumped up screaming. "Voles!!! But then..." He smiled, waved his hand around the voles he had landed on, and jumped back as they grew into horses.
"Can you drive a coach?" Quark asked her. Jadzia shook her head. "All right, then. ROM!"
Another Ferengi stumbled out of thin air. "My idiot brother." Quark explained. "But he can drive a coach. Now, maybe I should get you a footman too, come to think of it. Could you call your son, Rom?"
Rom nodded. "Nog!" Another Ferengi came along in a similar manner. "You've got to be this girl's footman."
"Yes, sir." Nog saluted.
"Okay," said Quark, "Now that just leaves your appearance." He grabbed Jadzia by the shoulders and spun her around. When she had stopped spinning, she was clean, her hair was brushed and styled, and she was wearing a beautiful gown that looked perfect on her. "It'll only last until 2600 hours," Quark warned her, "so I'm afraid you'll have to leave early."
"Thank you!" said Jadzia, and kissed him on the cheek. Quark very clearly blushed.
Jadzia was just climbing into her coach when Quark cursed. "Stupid spell! It forgot the shoes. Here." And he handed her a pair of glassy slippers. She put them on, and they curled up to fit her feet perfectly. Then she climbed the rest of the way in, and sat back as the coach took off.
Meanwhile, at the ball, Julian tried to avoid dancing with available girls for as long as possible. He danced with Miles's wife until her husband took her back, with his mother until she shooed him off, and with Adami until he couldn't deal with her anymore, but then she forced him to dance with Nerys.
After one dance, they decided they couldn't stand each other, and spilt ways. Then Nerys happened to spot Odo, the court constable, standing alone, and thought he might be nice to dance with. So she did.
Next Julian went to dance with Ezri. She proved to be such a strong reminder of the servent girl he had met that he almost decided to go with her if he couldn't find the other girl. But he happened to notice that another man had taken interest in her.
That man was Jake, the court poet. He had been confiscated from some paranoid Romulans who had kidnapped him as a baby, and when noone had come forth to claim him (he was, of course, Jadzia's little brother, but Benjamin had never learned there was an unclaimed baby in the palace), a pair of courtiers had named him Jake and raised him themselves. Jake was a little younger then Ezri, but that they would be engaged for a year or so wasn't an unreasonable prospect, so Julian, being a gentlemen, directed Ezri towards Jake.
A few minutes later, Kira was dancing with Odo, Ezri was dancing with Jake, Adami was annoying a few other wives who had brought thier daughters, and Julian was dancing with a girl called Sarina. She was nice, but certainly not the girl he had met. He let her go, glanced at the door, and stood stupidly still.
There was the girl he had met, though she had prettied herself up considerably. She walked up. "Hi, Your Majesty. You all right?"
"Oh, yes. Would you like to dance with me?" He was so dumbstruck, he once again forgot to ask her name.
Nor did he remember to as they danced away the night, ignoring the looks of amazement from everyone else. Lwaxana saw, of course, and thought her son had made a very nice choice indeed. Miles saw, and wondered what was going on, since Julian's dance partner didn't look like a servant girl, and he knew his friend wasn't the type to fall out of love so quickly. Adami saw, and was angry, but very fortunatly she didn't recognize Jadzia. Nerys and Ezri didn't see, they were too wrapped up in thier own dance partners.
After some time, both Julian and Jadzia got very tired from dancing, and fell by the side of the wall. "Wow," said Julian, "we must have been dancing for hours!"
That reminded Jadzia she had to be out of there by 2600 hours. "What's the time?"
He looked at his cronometer. "It's 2559. By the way, what's your name?"
There was no response. Julian turned around to discover she had abruptly dissapeared.
Jadzia was now tearing like mad through the dance floor, bumping into people, tripping over people, and bopping both of her sisters in the noses then running off before they could get a good look at her. Finally she got outside, and no sooner had she collapsed into her coach then there was a beep, and she found herself dirty and in rags sitting on top a pumpkin with some voles tied to it.
Rom and Nog were standing nearby. "Uh," said Rom. "Sorry." And he and Nog walked into thin air and vanished. Heaving a huge sigh, Jadzia began to walk home. A little way from the palace she noticed that she was wearing one glassy slipper, making her wonder A. why didn't they change back with everything else, and once she figured they hadn't been magicked for some reason, she then just wondered, B. where the other one was.
The other one, as it happened, was currently in the hands of Julian, who had found it on the dance floor, and ignoring the complaints of the various people who had been bumped into, was now determined to find his sweetheart, despite the fact he hadn't been paying attention enough when he had visited her to determine where she lived.
The next day, a happy Nerys and Ezri and a grumpy Adami returned home to find Jadzia sleeping on the floor, looking strangly exhausted and with blisters on her feet for some reason. Fortuneatly, Adami wasn't suspicious, but when Morn carried around the prince's proclamation that he had a shoe that he thought had been specially fitted and whomever it fitted got to marry him, she wasn't taking any chances. So the day of the prince's arrival, Jadzia abruptly found herself locked in the kitchen, with the news that the Klingon was on his way to marry her.
Prince Julian was a grand sight entering, accompanied by Odo for security, and Jake to commerate the occasion. On seeing their sweethearts, Nerys and Ezri both refused to try on the shoe.
"Nonsense," said Adami. "The proclamation reads all maidens in the kingdom must try it on, now go ahead or..." and she drew her finger across her neck.
So reluctantly Nerys sat down and tried on the shoe. It obviously didn't fit, so she then went over to Odo, who proposed on the spot.
"Yes," said Nerys, but then noticed Adami glaring at her, and then glaring even harder at Ezri.
Even more reluctantly Ezri sat down, tried on the shoe, and discovered to her horror it more or less fitted. "All right," said Julian sadly, for he was smart enough to realize what was going on. "A proclamation is a proclamation, and-"
"Wait," said Jake. "It doesn't look exactly right. How comfortable is she in it?"
"Very uncomfortable," said Ezri quickly. She got up. "In fact I don't think I can even stand up-WOAH!!" and she delibrately fell down. The slipper flew off her foot and hit the wall, where it shattered into a million pieces.
Ezri turned red. "I'm sorry." she squeaked.
"Well," said Adami. "The slipper can no longer fit anyone, because it no longers exists, and she came the closest. Therefore you must marry her." Poor Ezri curled up on the floor began to cry.
Jadzia, however, wasn't about to let the man she now loved greatly to be be married to someone who didn't even want to marry him, so she began hammering on the door loudly and yelled, "I HAVE THE OTHER ONE!"
"That's not in the proclamation," Adami yelled back.
"But every maiden in the kingdom is," said Odo. "You've been hiding one from us, haven't you?"
"She's violated the terms of a proclamation," declared Odo. "Under that absurdly complicated law, neither she nor her immediate family may marry into the court unless they already have a relative there..." his voice died off. Ezri began to cry again.
"I'm sorry," said Odo sadly to Nerys.
"I'm sorry too," said Jake. "If only those paranoid Romulans hadn't kidnapped me..."
Jadzia promptly began to hammer on the door again. "LET ME OUT!"
"No." said Adami.
"Break down the door." Julian said to Odo.
"That's private property!" warned Adami. "I'll sue!"
Odo ignored her. Extending his arm, he turned his hand into a wrecking ball and made quick work of the door. Jadzia burst through. "Did you say paranoid Romulans?" she asked Jake.
"Yeah," said Jake. "I was only a baby when I was confiscated from them. They think I was kidnapped before I was even named."
"Right before my mother died, her newborn son was kidnapped by paranoid Romulans. Her subsequent death distracted us from ever finding him. You're my brother!"
"Sister!" They embraced.
"As I was saying," said Jadzia. "I have the second slipper here," she pulled it out of her pocket. "And it fits me perfectly." She put it on her foot. "And I can walk in it, and even dance in it!" She did so. "So by logic, the previous one must also fit me."
"Perfect!" said Julian. "Now you can marry me!"
"By the way," Nerys asked Odo, "what was with the shapeshifting ability?"
"You're upset." said Odo, looking very frightened.
"Who said I was upset?" asked Nerys crossly. "I'd like for us to discuss it, maybe over another one of the walks you took me on the night of the ball-"
"And then you'll want me to kiss you, I suppose?"
"Well, that's possible..."
"In that case, who needs the walk? Why don't I just get it over with and kiss you right now?"
"Well why don't you?" and he promptly pulled her into a long passionate kiss that attracted the attention of everyone in the room.
When they seperated, Nerys let out a heavenly sigh. "You're right, who needs a walk? Thanks, Jadzia, for the save. Sorry for being so mean to you."
"Yeah, sorry," echoed Ezri, who was still on the floor.
"It's okay," said Jadzia.
"Good," said Ezri, who was in a bit of a daze. She looked up at her own lover. "Hi, Jake. You look taller. Or am I just shorter?" Jake pulled her up and kissed her. Everyone was nice enough not to point out the fact that they'd just been revealed to be stepsiblings.
The three pairs of lovers strode outside, into the beautiful night. "Is it just me," said Julian, "or do the stars shine a little brighter tonight?"
"Is it just me," replied Jadzia, "or has Julian lost his mind?"
And they all lived happily ever after.
Except Adami, who was killed by the Klingon when he arrived several hours later and discovered she didn't have a bride for him.