Title: Moist, Glassy, Pink Lipstick

Pairing: Trent x Claire

Rating: M

Disclaimer: Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town is Property of Natsume, not me!

Author's Note: My second story for Trent x Claire, and my third for the Harvest Moon series (not including my Rune Factory fanfic.) I wish Dr. Trent was real… I'd love just to be his friend! He's very mature and down-to-Earth. Actually, I wish a lot of characters were real…but especially Popuri and Dr. Trent (I love Jack x Popuri, by the way…haha!)

Please enjoy!

-START-

"Say, babydoll, you think Doctor is going to invite you to the Fireworks Festival this year?" Kai asked his blonde friend as he sat a piece of pizza down on the table. She handed him the money and happily began to eat her lunch. He watched her eat the slice of food hungrily and continued to talk while she finished chewing. He'd grown used to Claire's eating habits considering that she stopped by the Beach Shack every day during the summer. She had become such goods friends with him that, when she wasn't visiting her crush at the clinic, the two were almost inseparable. They kept no secrets from each other, especially in the realm of romance. "I know people have never invited dates in the past, but don't you think it would be fun if the festival was a more…formal event?"

She swallowed and took a long sip of water. "You can always ask someone to watch them with you when you get there, silly goose! There's no point in asking someone in advance…right?"
Clearly, the man had to make his point more lucid. It wasn't like her response wasn't logical…it was just incredibly naïve.

"Well, yeah, but c'mon!" he shouted, throwing a damp dishtowel over his shoulder and crossing his arms curtly. "Rather than hanging out with your sweetheart with a bunch of random dudes around, wouldn't you rather take your date somewhere you could both be alone! What if you two wanna get it on, huh? You don't want the whole town watching when you guys—" he ranted before Claire turned bright red and shushed him, about to burst out laughing. "You're dating Doctor, right? I know he's a mature guy, but a man is a man! We have urges, baby! You know that!"

Claire was frantically looking around the restaurant. "Hey Kai, don't talk like that! If someone had heard you, they might get confused! Doctor and I would never do something so inappropriate out it public!"

"Well, not in front of people, of course! Still…don't you think it would be fun?" Kai asked with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "You know…to do it outside?"

All the color drained from Claire's face.

"Eww, no! I'm a farmer and I wouldn't even do that! It's…not clean…" she said with a shiver. She continued, "…a-and with Trent? No way! He'd never opt for it! He's so romantic that he'd never want to do something so savage…besides, he's a doctor. Cleanliness is standard in his life. Asking him to have sex outside is like asking a fireman if he wanted to make-out in a burning building!"

"…What the hell are you talking about?"

"N-Never mind! All I'm saying is that he'd never, ever do it!"

The man threw his head back and roared with laughter.

"I bet 10,000 gold that he would!" Kai said, thrusting his hand out in front of him. "Wanna bet? I'm sure I'll win, but hey, extra money never hurt anyone."

Claire blushed horrendously and shook her head. If she was to make a bet with Kai that would mean that she and Trent would have to have sex. Sex! She and Doctor had only made love once before, and it was in the privacy of her own farmhouse. That's not to say she didn't feel comfortable being with Trent, but doing something so daring? It frightened her. She was only in her early twenties and wasn't ready for such a serious step. She knew Trent was almost thirty, but she had her doubts that even her experienced boyfriend had done something so bizarre.

"S-Sorry Kai…how about I just give you the 10,000 gold anyway, and you promise to not tell Doctor anything," she muttered with a cute wink. "Please promise me?" Kai stared at her incredulously. He was sure she was going to accept his offer.

"You sure, babydoll? Aren't you and Trent in love?"

"Well…yes, but…"

"Then what's the harm?" he shouted. Claire just swiveled her head back and forth. She couldn't agree to something such a serious offer so quickly.

"Kai, I swear I can't…"

Now she was completely uncomfortable. It wasn't Kai, but the content of the conversation and the images it was forcing into her innocent mind. Claire squeezed her eyes shut and got up to leave.

"I…I have to go! I forgot that I have to buy some more feed for my sheep. I'll catch you tomorrow! See ya!"

She quickly waved at Kai and sprinted back into town. The dark-skinned man tried to holler for her, but to no avail. Claire had evacuated the beach and left him alone to ponder the insensitive interrogation he'd conducted on her. He slammed and open palm against his forehead and rubbed his now throbbing temple.

"She's so damn oblivious!" Kai whispered silently. "…Claire…how can you be so scared when you're so in love? I want to help you…"

He slammed his hand on the counter firmly.

"But I don't know how!"

He began to clear Claire's trash off the table when three boys, Cliff, Gray and Rick all filed into the restaurant. Kai picked up and uneaten pizza crust and tossed it in the trashcan across the room. "Hm, you guys? Let me guess…you guys came in here because you saw Claire run out of here and think I'm the one that made her sad, am I right?"

Cliff lifted a brow. "Hm? Claire? What happened?"

Rick's face turned magenta and a spark of anger was ignited in his gaze.

"Damn you! First you fool around with my sister, and now Claire! You're such a stupid pig," Rick yelled, rushing towards Kai to punch him when Gray seized the redhead's wrist. "Let me go, Gray! Let me hit him until he begs on his knees for mercy!"

"Sorry, I don't swing that way," Kai said with a clever smirk. "But for a little kiss I might be willing to try."

"You piece of sh—!" the chicken farmer yelled when Cliff clapped a hand over his mouth and sighed. He asked for Rick to stop acting so immature, which was outwardly disobeyed when the man tried to kick the traveler in the shin. He ignored Rick's muffled cries for blood and approached the restaurateur apprehensively. His eyebrows were knitted together in obvious concern at the sudden mention of Claire's name.

"You were talking about Claire just now. What happened?" Cliff asked somewhat frantically. He was still in debt to her for getting him the job at the winery. If anything was wrong, he wanted to be the first to help. "Is something wrong? We just came in here to eat dinner…we had no idea you were with her."

"Oh, I see." Kai removed the damp dishtowel from its home on his shoulder and rubbed his hands with it. "Well, what can I get you dudes to eat?"

"Wait, what did you do?" Gray said blatantly, nodding to a fuming Rick beside him. "If you don't tell me, I'll have to release him. Chasing after chickens all day can make you very fast and strong…strong enough to pack a punch if he caught you."

The blacksmith steadily loosened his grasp on Rick's apron, watching in amusement as a look of pure hatred blossomed on Kai's face. "She must have run into the north of town, because we didn't see her coming back on the south path. We just came from the Poultry Farm, so we should have met her."

Kai's eyes widened considerably. "The Clinic is on the north path," he remembered. A smirk steadily spread across his face and, a few disturbed stares later, turned into a full-blown cackle.

"Hey…Kai? Are you okay?" Cliff asked slowly, his voice shaking in response to his nervousness. Hysterical laughter from Kai was never a good thing. "You still haven't' told us what happened between you and Claire!" he yelled, rushing forward to grab Kai's collar.

Gray flinched as the mild-mannered Cliff erupted in sudden anger.

"We should go after her if she's upset and try to console her!" the brown-haired man seethed, his words constantly being interrupted by chuckles from the tan-skinned beach boy. "Why the hell are you laughing?"

His question was answered a few seconds later when Karen busted through the door and sprinted into Rick's arms. The chicken farmer blinked in confusion and held onto her shoulders tightly. She was sobbing.

"Rick! Rick, I'm sorry! Tomorrow is the Fireworks Festival and I didn't even bother to invite you! Girls have never asked out boys before, so I was confused…"

Once Rick was over the initial shock of his childhood friend asking him out, the gravity of her statement finally sank it. He tried to ignore Kai obnoxious grin and focus on Karen. "What? You're…asking me…out…?" he asked. "I don't understand."

"My dad needed to go to the clinic for a stomach ache and, as we both walked it, I saw Claire and Doctor talking, and she asked him out for the Fireworks Festival! I…I had no idea it was so formal this year! Rick, I'm so sorry," she said tearfully, balled fists trying desperately to erase her tears.

Rick shushed her and Gray stared at Kai smugly. "Well, well…so that's what you were both talking about…"

"Huh?" Rick perked up and turned around, gently rocking Karen in his arms. "Claire…and Doctor are going out? And she asked him out a whole day before the actual event? R-Really?"

That's when Kai's smile melted into a grim frown.

"Damn, that girl owes me 10,000 gold," he cursed, slapping the washcloth against his knee and marching back into the kitchen, leaving behind four people and four equally confused stares.

XOXOXOXOXOXO

"Gray..? It's okay if you say no…but would you like to go to the F-Fire…works Festival with me? I know it seems sudden, but…I've always liked you as…as more than a friend. Is that…okay?"

"Cliff, I'm glad I caught you! Listen, would you like to come to the Fireworks Festival with me? You may not know it, but I kind of have…you know, a crush on you…so, can we go together?"

"Kai! Hey, Hey, come to the Fireworks Festival with me! It's a little embarrassing for the girl to be asking the boy out, but after Karen told us about Claire, we decided we'd do the same! Will you join me? Pretty please?"

"…And ever since then, all the girls in Mineral Town have been asking their crushes to the Festival," Cliff said, addressing Gray over his shoulder as he pulled a pajama shirt over his head. Both planned to retire to their room at the inn for the night earlier than usual. After all, tomorrow was bound to be a busy day, and they had to make sure they got sleep. "And to think, this all happened because Claire asked Doctor out on a date. Can you believe that?"

"No, and I still can't," Gray responded emotionlessly. Cliff pouted and turned away from the blonde, muttering under his breath about how lame he was. The blacksmith merely walked over to his bed and pulled the covers over his head. It was probably to hide his still blushing face from when Mary had asked him out. The memory itself made his face flush bright red. "Damn…this isn't going to be good."

"Why do you say that?" the wine salesman asked curiously as he tossed himself into bed. "Aren't you going out with Mary? I thought you'd be happy."

Gray shook his head and sighed into his blanket. "It's just…the fact that Kai talked to Claire before she asked him out makes me feel…odd," the blacksmith said finally, pulling the cord on the lamp next to the bed. "Well, he's going out with Popuri, so there's no point in worrying. He won't be focused on us."

"That's true, thank goodness," Cliff said with a nod. The dimming lights made him press his face against the side of his pillow. The darkness was casting its usual spell and making his lids feel heavy. "..Well, no matter what happens, we'll be there for Claire. You and I are her friends. If anything goes wrong, we'll help her out."

"I really don't think she'll need it," Gray mouthed out, yawning loudly. "Even though Kai's a bit of an ass, Doctor's a good guy. I'm sure he'll take care of her…"

Cliff and Gray fell asleep moments later, their minds still buzzing with concern and anticipation for the day ahead.

The night went peacefully and the sun rose just like it had on the day of every other Fireworks Festival Mineral Town had ever seen. However, this sunrise was greeted by noise and chatter instead of the usual silence. Mineral Town bustled with girls and boys rushing around wildly like caged animals that had just escaped their binds. Each individual was getting ready for the Fireworks Festival. Even the older women like Mana were priming themselves to look their absolute best in front of their husbands.

Frankly, all the commotion made Trent sick.

"Why are people suddenly so concerned about impressing their loved ones? Honestly, it's so immature…" he heaved as he finished his last pile of paperwork. He leaned back at his chair and stared at the ceiling for s few seconds before yelling over the partition, "Hey, Elli! Are you going to the festival tonight?"

Her blue petticoat crackled as she bounced into his office, large eyes perky and lips curled upwards into a lovely smile. "I am! I've been so anxious all day…oh, Doctor! You haven't even changed clothes! I thought you were going with Claire…"

"I am," he said bluntly. With the nurse still giving him a surprised stare, he got up and cracked his back before venturing upstairs to change. "I just think that all this formality is odd. The festival has never been like this before…and it's embarrassing to see everyone so giddy about it."

He had barely reached the final step before a delicate chuckle rang behind him. Trent turned back to see his assistant blushing and laughing at him…which oddly enough, made him more angry than curious. Maybe it was because he was aware of how flushed he was. Truth was, he was a little excited, but he could never let Elli know. "What?"

"You'll change your mind when you see Claire."

"Why is that?" he asked, having calmed slightly at the mention of his love's name.

"I helped her pick out her gown. You'll love it! I can't give much away, but it's your favorite color—white!" Elli said gleefully.

Trent cocked her head. Elli giggled and threw her hands behind her back in a girlish manner.

"Even though I'm not going with anyone, I can't help but be excited as well! I'm going to go to the Inn so the girls and I can get ready. Don't forget, you're supposed to pick up Claire at around 5:00 tonight, so don't be late!" she chastised with the wag of a finger.

Setting down a tray of medicine on a nearby desk, she fled the clinic with great speed, leaving an astonished Trent at the top of the stairs. He puffed out a cheek after a few moments of irritated silence.

"What did she mean by 'as well'?" he asked himself aloud, removing his headband and white coat. He shut the door to his room and gradually began to remove his outfit piece by piece, exchanging each part of his work uniform for an expensive, navy suit. "She couldn't have met me. The only reason I'm looking forward to this even a little is because I get to spend time with Claire."

In fact, that was probably the only reason.

He analyzed his appearance in the mirror. He was tall and thin, but still slightly muscular from his constant exercise routine (he was a doctor, after all) and his black hair laid flat across his forehead and cheekbones. "Well, at least my clothes fit…"

He groaned and raked a hand through his bangs. No matter how much he fought it, fact was, he was horribly anxious for the Fireworks Festival to start. He and Claire had been dating for a while, but he still got shaky whenever he thought about her. The first time they'd had sex after her 23rd birthday, it was wonderful. He'd love the chance to bed her again…but frankly, he was afraid of ruining her attractive innocence. She was a lively, bubbly girl with one of the best personalities in Mineral Town. Every minute spent with her kept him guessing.

"Oh! Maybe the reason I'm so flustered is because I've never seen her in a dress before!" he suddenly realized, smacking a fist into his palm. "After all, she's always working, so the only clothes I see her wear are those coveralls with her hair down."

Claire was always running around her farm in overalls and a plain shirt, her cheeks smudged with mud and her hair brittle from sun damage. He'd never seen her in formal attire before. Just the thought of her frail body draped with delicate silk and frills was enough to redden his cheeks and make his body elate with pleasure. He attempted to shake his mind free of his perverted thoughts by checking his watch. He had exactly fifteen minutes to get to Claire's house and take her to the beach.

"Ugh…everyone will be at the beach," he moaned, walking downstairs and locking up the office for the night. "It's going to be loud. Why does everyone have to watch the damn fireworks from the same place? I wish I could take her somewhere more romantic…"

As he shoved his keys in his trouser pocket, an idea popped in his head. Doctor's visage was suddenly graced with a handsome leer. He laughed to himself and nodded, strutting towards Claire's farm with the perfect idea for their outing playing over and over in his mind. No doubt, he intended to make the date as perfect as the girl he was sharing it with.

XOXOXOXOXOXO

With one swipe of red lipstick, her outfit was complete. She twirled in front of her mirror and tried to take in the massive transformation she'd just undergone. "Oh wow, this feels really strange…"

Her hands grabbed either side of her white, silk gown and pulled it upwards as she bent down to curtsey. The semi-translucent gown glittered and sparkled brilliantly, the soft white color contrasting perfectly with her sun-kissed skin. There was one thing that bothered her, however, and it was the fact she looked like a bride.

"I hope this doesn't make me look desperate…" she fretted. The last thing she wanted was to put off the man of her dreams because she'd chosen to wear the wrong clothes. Still, her dress was also decorated with beautiful white roses, which made it look more summery than a typical ball-gown. She did another tiny twirl, watching the fabric kick up over her pearl heels. Claire couldn't stop spinning in joy. Not even her slightly self-conscious nature could mask her anticipation for the evening ahead. "He'll be here any minute…I bet he's going to look so handsome…I can't wait!"

Well, he always looked handsome, but she knew he'd be wearing a suit instead of his doctor's coat. Her anxiety was killing her.

Just as she checked over her shoulder to see the time, the doorbell rang. Almost jumping out of her skin, she wobbled over to the door and nervously reached out to twist the knob. She inhaled loudly and puffed out her bosom as she opened the door to see her date bathed in the golden glow of her porch-light.

It was like a god had descended from heaven.

"Claire?" he asked, astonished at her womanly appearance. "I-Is that you? You look…"

She glowed. He seemed to like her dress.

"Y-Yeah? I look…?" she asked, begging him to finish his sentence.

"…Like a desperate bride."

The toppled to the ground in a deadpan fashion. So it was just as she thought.

"Is that so…?" she asked shakily with tears on her lashes. "I'm…sorry…I mean, I knew you liked white, but it's stupid of me to wear a white gown like this on a date. I'm really sorry, Trent—"

He stopped her rambling with a soft kiss on the lips.

"But you look like a bride…a beautiful one. You look like my queen," he said in a voice as smooth as dark chocolate. Claire turned and stared at him incredulously. Was he serious? He offered her a hand pulled her into his arms. "Of course, I don't want you to stain the pretty gown of yours, so I refuse to take you to the beach! You'll get dirty, and besides, I don't think it's possible for you to walk in sand with heels that high. You'll break your ankles!" he said, hands on his hips.

She realized he was right and cursed herself for being so dumb. She offered to change shoes, but Trent had another idea.

"Why don't we skip the beach tonight?"

The blonde farmer blinked and looked up at him with wide eyes.

"Huh? Then where will we go?"

It was Trent's turn to stare at her. Only this time, the gaze showed lust rather than bewilderment. "You can see the fireworks from anywhere in town…so, why don't we do to the hot springs to watch them…down by the Spring Mine."

She knew what he was talking about now. Claire was unable to count the time those springs had saved her from fatigue.

"Actually, the hot springs don't sound like a bad idea!" she cheered happily, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him chastely. "Oh…but you look so handsome in your suit! Can't you leave it on at least a while longer?" she pleaded with puppy-dog eyes. He blushed the color of a strawberry and backed away, hands groping the side of the house for support.

"Well…" he stammered as he tried to his red face by turning his head away.

"Pretty please?"

"…Uh, yeah, fine," he surrendered with a quiet smile. "You win Claire. You always win. But you don't play fair, you little minx!" he said with a laugh. The blonde farmer slapped his shoulder playfully and embraced her boyfriend passionately.

"I…I love you Trent!"

He threaded his fingers through her flaxen locks and brought their lips together. "Yeah…me too, Angel."

The first firework of the night ignited in the sky. When they turned to face it, it was in the shape of a pink heart; its candy-colored sparks raining down upon the couple like stars.

-END-

LEMON TIME IS UP NEXT! :D
Stay tuned…but until then, drink lots of Sprite to prepare yourself for the lemony-limey goodness I shall persevere to bestow upon you. Bwahahahaha!