The UsakoMamoru community is at it again, with a brand new drabble challenge to celebrate our two-year anniversary. There are 35 themes (of which I doubt I'll make it through all of them, but it never hurts to try…). I'll list them for you at the bottom of this page to spark inspiration.

Submit your own drabbles before Aug. 3 to win prizes!

Visit my profile for the link.

Note: The next chapter in Thornrose Lane will be coming shortly – I promise!

1a. Cake

Alicia Blade

786 words

"You are going down."

Mamoru eyed Usagi with a confident smirk, although her words created a sinking feeling in his stomach. And he certainly didn't need that—there was already enough going on in his stomach.

He was beginning to fear that this was one contest he was going to have to concede to the Odango Atama. After all, he had started getting woozy two rounds ago, and she still looked like she was enjoying herself. It was disturbing.

"Ladies and gentleman, we are down to just two contestants," the emcee boomed through his megaphone. The crowd pressed up closer to the little wooden stage that had been erected in the middle of the park's lush green square, the centerpiece of the weekend carnival where such prestigious awards as Tokyo's Best Hula-Hooper and Tokyo's Greatest Polka-Dancing Couple would be handed out.

Right now the crowd was waiting with bated breath to find out who was going to win the most coveted award of them all: Tokyo's Best Eater.

And Mamoru and Usagi were the last two standing. They'd made it through cheese-smothered nachos, meat-lover's pizza, ice cream sundaes, and a healthy serving of roasted vegetables—the only course that Usagi had hesitated at and therefore allowed Mamoru to 'catch up.' He hoped the last round would be a wholesome spinach salad—it was his only chance.

"For the final round our two contestants will be facing off with…" The crowd held a collective breath as the emcee let the suspense linger. "Triple chocolate cake!"

Mamoru flinched and glanced at his opponent. She looked purely delighted and Mamoru felt hopelessness wash over him as two huge chunks of rich, chocolate cake were set down on the table before them, overflowing with thick dark frosting and topped with a swirled dollop of whipped cream.

His stomach churned.

Usagi smacked her lips.

"Though you've both displayed amazing stomachs here today, only one of you can be crowned Tokyo's Best Eater. The first contestant to finish their entire piece of cake will be crowned the winner!"

The crowd cheered—at least, those that weren't looking a little queasy themselves did.

"Could the contestants please put their hands behind their backs! Remember that use of hands or utensils is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification."

They both clasped their hands behind the backs of their chairs and waited for the bell to announce the start of the round.

Mamoru snuck a glance at Usagi and saw her brow furrowed in concentration as she devised her plan of attack on the helpless dessert. His chuckling made her look up at him.

"What?" she snapped.

"I was just wondering what that poor piece of cake ever did to you."

Usagi glowered. "Don't try to use your wit to get out of this one, Mamoru-baka."

"You think I'm witty?"

"No."

The bell rang. Usagi immediately forgot the argument and sent her little round face flying right into the cake. It toppled over without resistance as she munch and gnawed away, burying her nose deep into the whipped cream, her chin and cheeks already covered with frosting.

Mamoru laughed, the sight of her both inhumanly adorable, and oddly disconcerting. His stomach was still roiling and the mere thought of digging into a piece of cake like that had the power to start moving that asparagus back up. So he didn't think about it, and he didn't dare try.

She'd had him pegged from the start, anyway, and they both knew it.

But my, it was entertaining watching her devour that cake like the whole safety of the city depended on it.

"We have a winner!" the emcee bellowed once Usagi finally came up for air, bits of cake dusting her eyebrows and bangs. Her white teeth flashed through the layer of chocolate.

"I won!" she squealed, sending her chair toppling over as she jumped to her feet.

And then her eyes landed on Mamoru, still laughing with tears glittering in the corners of his eyes, and his untouched chocolate cake.

"Hey, what's the big idea?" she screeched. "You didn't even try!"

Trying to catch his breath, Mamoru held up his hands in surrender. "How could I possibly compete with that? You earned it, fair and square."

It only took a moment for Usagi's irritation to melt away to smug agreement. "Damn straight." She took a bow toward the cheering audience as the emcee placed the little paper crown on her head—lopsided to fit over the odangos. But she couldn't keep her eyes from drifting toward Mamoru at the table again, an overpowering, unexpected desire suddenly welling up in her.

"Say… uh…. Mamoru?"

He quirked an eyebrow. "Yes, Usagi?"

"Are you gonna eat that?"

Drabble competition guidelines:

First of all, anyone who writes stories or creates icons for all 35 themes by August 3 will receive a special Sailor Moon gift. In addition, all stories entered between tonight and 08/03 are automatically eligible to be considered for one of the following categories:

Fanfiction
Best Romance
Best Comedy
Best Angst
Best Interpretation of a Theme
Best Characterization of Usagi and/or Mamoru
Best Overall

Icons
Best Use of Colour
Best Embodiment of a Scene (from the manga/anime/live action) - what best reflects/expresses the original scene that the icon came from
Best Embodiment of Usagi/Mamoru - what best expresses them as characters and as a pairing
Best Interpretation of a Theme
Best Overall

The two people lucky enough to win Best Overall for fanfiction and icon will be getting a gift from Alicia Blade. I (and anyone else who'd like to volunteer to help) will be making personalized banners for the winners of the other categories to post in their own LJ's for all the world to see. Voting will take place from August 4-6, and winners announced on the 7th, in celebration of UsakoMamoru's second anniversary. Specific details about voting will be offered closer to August.

Sounds like fun? We hope so!

Now, since your anticipation has risen to a fever pitch throughout this post, let me present the list of themes:

Week 1: Birthday
a. Cake
b. Surprise Party
c. Invitations
d. Gift Wrap
e. Party Games
f. Wish
g. Zodiac Signs

Week 2: Acquaintances
a. Inner Senshi
b. Outer Senshi
c. Shitennou
d. Queen Serenity
e. Starlights
f. Fiore, Ail, Ann
g. Civilians (Motoki, Reika, Naru, Umino, Ikuko, Shingo, etc)

Week 3: Humanity
a. Body
b. Mind
c. Soul
d. Heart
e. Life
f. Love
g. Freedom

Week 4: The Other Side of Love
a. Frustration
b. Youth
c. Regret
d. Rejection
e. Fear
f. Nostalgia
g. Lust

Week 5: Anniversary
a. Wedding
b. Children
c. Honeymoon
d. Passage
e. Ring
f. Veil
g. Forgotten

We have 5 weeks of themes, with an individual theme for each day of that week. Now, each theme must incorporate Usagi and/or Mamoru, but it need not take place during any specific season. That's right, for this event, any time period from the Silver Millennium to the future days of Crystal Tokyo, are legitimate entries. Fics and icons do NOT have to be entered in order, we simply ask that you include the week and theme that your work uses.