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Of Princes and Proposals

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                Returning home from a diplomatic mission was always a whirlwind, and doubly so if he was taking Smokescreen along with him. Bumblebee knew it was important to get the bitlet interested in his work early if Smokescreen were to ever take his place as an ambassador, but it still made things more difficult on him. On this day in particular Bumblbee was having issues because Smokescreen refused to recharge at a reasonable time the previous night which meant he was utterly unwilling to wake up now that Bumblebee had finished driving home.

                “Come on Smokescreen, we can’t go inside until you get out of me,” he said in a singsong tone trying to appeal to the smaller mech. “Don’t you want to see sire?”

                “I wanna recharge,” was Smokescreen’s reply.

                Bumblebee sighed and gave a quick honk of his horn, “Get out and you can recharge in your berth and not in my passenger seat.”

                That managed to get a response out of the younger mech who proceeded to open Bumblebee’s door and shuffle out to get picked up by a guard. Bumblebee proceeded to transform and take his brother back from the royal guard. “Magnus,” he nodded to the guard.

                “Prince Bumblebee, Prince Smokescreen,” Ultra Magnus replied before opening the back entrance to the palace grounds for the duo, “How was your trip?”

                “Uneventful,” Bumblebee said. He supposed no news was good news, and it was always nice to have a trip that didn’t involve some political event, but when he became ambassador Bumblebee didn’t realize that meant signing up to take his little brother on vacation for the weekend. “The concert was nice. I’ll do a write up on it for my creators tomorrow.”

                “You can tell then today.” Ultra Magnus said, “They want to see you both in the throne room in a cycle.”

                “Both of them?” Bumblebee asked. That didn’t make sense.

                “Yes and the crown prince as well.” Ultra Magnus said. “You should get ready, I’ll tell the cooks to send something to your room.”

                “Wait Rodimus too?” Now nothing was making sense. Bumblebee figured that he would just have to find out whatever it was in a cycle.

                “What do you think it is?” Bumblebee asked his brother as they waited outside of the throne room.

                “Maybe they are having a ball and wanted us to be the first to know.” Rodimus chimed in.

                Bumblebee rolled his optics, “Yes, sire would have a ball. That totally makes sense.” The mech was going to drive him insane one of these days. “And he called carrier over a meta-cycle early because he just really needed a ball today.”

                “You asked me what I thought it was,” Rodimus replied bitterly. “I told you. You don’t have to get snarky about it.”

                “Okay let me clarify. Is there anything that’s happened around the palace in the last week that makes you-logically-have an idea of what this might be about?” Bumblebee asked himself, not for the first time, why Rodimus had to be born first. Clearly his brother should not be crown prince, it made no sense. Before vocalizing any of his concerns, however, the doors to the throne room opened and Bumblebee bit back his words as he and his brothers walked in.

                “Carrier!” Smokescreen exclaimed as is launched himself at Optimus.

                Optimus picked the sparkling up and hugged him. “It’s good to see you sprocket.” He happily placed Smokescreen on his lap. “Did you have fun with your brother?”

                Smokescreen nodded, “Uncle Soundwave had a concert. Bumblebee let me stay up for it and everything.”

                Snitch Bumblebee thought to himself, but thankfully their carrier didn’t look too upset about it.

                “What about you Bumblebee?” Optimus asked.

                “I had fun with Smokescreen. I mean it was a normal trip to Harmonex. King Soundwave sends his regards.” He paused for a deka-klik before adding, “Oh and some vids of Ravage” before passing off a holo to his sire which elicited a flash of a smile from Megatron.

                “And your trip Rodimus?” His sire asked.

                “Amazing,” the crown prince said. “The clinic is so great and I met this amazing mech. Commoner but just-his smile.”

                Great. Rodimus had fallen in love again. That must make the tenth time this stellar cycle if Bumblebee had been counting correctly. He wondered if this would last a deca-cycle before self-destructing like normal. It probably would, and if not it would totally be gone by this time next stellar cycle. Bumblebee did his best to keep his optics from rolling as he nodded at the news.  

                “I was hoping I could go back soon,” Rodimus said.

                “That might not be possible, but I love your excitement,” Optimus replied kindly, as if he hadn’t gone through consoling Rodimus’s countless sparkbreaks thus far.

                “I’m sure you three are wondering why Optimus is early for his visit.” Megatron said as he stowed the holo in his subspace.

                The trio responded at once, voices attempting to chime over one another.

                “Because he missed me!” Smokescreen said burying his face into his carrier’s stomach.

                “A party?” Rodimus said hopefully.

                “Yes sire,” Bumblebee said inquisitively.

                Optimus smiled again. “Of course I missed you my Smokescreen. I had news to tell you and your brother and you were away.”

                News. Okay Bumblebee thought. News could mean anything from changing caterers to impending doom. Probably not the former consisting that wouldn’t justify taking the trip to Kaon early rather than sending a comm, but still. Bumblebee’s processor raced while trying to come up with possibilities Tetrahex and Tesk declared war and they would remain neutral. His carrier’s proposed design for Iaconian funded libraries in other cities had been approved. They discovered a hidden wing of the palace behind a wall.

                “You get to be a big brother,” Optimus said still focused on Smokescreen before turning his attention to his elder sons. “I discovered I am carrying twins about a meta-cycle back.”

                “Congratulations!” Rodimus said with a smile.

                Bumblebee was smiling too. Not a war. Just sparklings. “Congratulations.”

                “Our biggest concern is not having a repeat of last time Optimus was carrying,” Megatron said. That wasn’t fun for any of them. Not Optimus who had been stuck on berthrest and unable to make his regular trips to Kaon, nor Megatron who suddenly had additional governing responsibilities and could not make the time for his regular trips to Iacon, nor the adolescent Rodimus and Bumblebee who had taken to tormenting their tutor the entire carrying cycle to make up for the fact their creators were giving them no attention.

                “Since this time around it is a geriatric carrying cycle I will likely be placed on berthrest again, so your sire and I have decided it is for the best if I stay in Kaon for the carrying cycle to play things safe.” Optimus turned his attention to Rodimus, “Since that means no one will be on the throne on Iacon tomorrow we are putting out the official announcement you will be leading as prince regent until I can return home.”

                Rodimus practically gleamed, “Thank you carrier!”

                “Nothing crazy Rodimus,” Optimus said with a serious expresion, “Just handle the day to day workings for me. No making laws yet.”

                “Sure. So when do I leave?” Rodimus asked. He glimmered for a moment before bursting into flames only to calm himself down a klik later.

                “Tomorrow with Magnus. He’ll be your guard for the trip.” Optimus said before turning his attention to Bumblebee, “Your sire will also be staying in Kaon in case something goes wrong. Since both of us are here and Rodimus will be stuck in Iacon I was hoping you could take up royal appearances for the meta-cycle. Consider it your ambassador position on red energon.”

                “A-all of them,” Bumblebee stuttered, “Even the ones for kings?”

                “Especially the ones for kings,” Megatron said in clarification, “We don’t want to step on any pedes with anything being misconstrued as us showing up foreign royalty.”

                “As long as you say so carrier and sire.” Bumblebee said, “So what’s my schedule?”

                “The first half or so of your schedule is already in your quarters. The second half will be created upon completion of the first.” Optimus said. “You are entitled to any guards other than Magnus or your sire’s private guard, I will send a list to you of the roster as soon as possible.”

                “Alright carrier,” Bumblebee said with a nod. “I’ll start preparing ASAP.”

                “Not so ASAP-your brother was right.” Optimus added, “We’ll be hosting a small celebration in honor of the news, so wait until morning to pack.”

                “I knew it!” Rodimus exclaimed, leading Bumblebee to roll his optics despite his best efforts to keep them still. The yellow mech couldn’t decide if his older brother was proof that some mechs were born with all the luck or if he was proof that a stopped clock was right twice a day, but Bumblebee had bigger things to worry about than that he supposed.