Disclaimers: Transformers © Hasbro, Takara, and IDW. "Transformers" © Dreamworks, Paramount, HasTak.

Blue Carpet

Jason M. Lee

"How appropriate for this to be held in the City on Wheels," Ratchet murmured as he carefully picked his steps, mindful of fellow (and smaller) cast and crew members. Not to mention the large sea of humanity he had predicted but exceed expectations, especially the press that were buzzing about like mad.

"Most of us transform into vehicles. What isn't appropriate about it?" Bumblebee tossed back, bent down on signing several autographs and posing for some photographic memories. He had to smile on seeing the delight and awe shining in the fans' eyes, especially the happy thank-yous. "Now Detroit, on the other hand..."

"Hmph. Well, it won't be our fault if they're run over by us on accident." Ironhide glanced around, trying to calibrate his optics to catch up with the constant flashing of cameras going off and the bright lights illuminating the area. "Where are Prime and Jazz? Not to mention Megatron and Starscream, as much as I hate to admit it."

"Prime's stuck on the westbound 10 so he might be late. Jazz, on the other hand..." The S&R Hummer shook his head, copying Bumblebee on doing autographs, his for one ex-California-now-Oklahoma resident and a visitor from New Zealand. "Well, you know his motto: 'do it with style or don't bother doing it at all'. The remaining two are inbound as we speak."

"Let's hope it won't be too destructive," Barricade rumbled. "I'm surprised Los Angeles or Detroit didn't kick us out for going a bit overboard with some of our weapons, much less Hoover Dam. Wish I was able to use some of my missiles during that chase sequence, though."

"You're mainly jealous that I beat you in a full on fight, and I got actual human passengers and you didn't," the Camaro teased.

The Saleen's mouth twisted into a sharp smirk. "At least I didn't get--what was it--dissed by one of said human passengers for picking a, ah, 'piece of crap Camaro' as my first choice."

Bumblebee made a sound that sounded distinctly similar to a human raspberry, causing laughs from the audience and Ratchet. Ironhide palmed his face, wondering when will those two ever get out of their rivalry. "Leakin' lubricant..."

"At least notnotnot decapitated like Frenzy!" the spindly mech snarled from his perch on the black and white's shoulder, seeking refuge after a slightly enthusiastic attendee nearly impaled herself hugging him. "Can't believelievelieve Bay wanted done real after hearing self-repair abilities! Know how humiliating used as socsocsoccer ball and uncomfortable that small after stunstunstunt?!?! Thank Allspark!"

Snickers drifted from Blackout as he kept an optic on Scorponok, making sure his partner didn't injured any humans by accident. The mechanical scorpion's stinger was practically wagging like an overexcited young canine, basking in the light of photography from fans and press. A gloomy Brawl sulked into view, catching the Pave Low's attention. "Voice capacitor got slagged?"

"Practically nothing on advertisements, barely any lines, shot at by military humans..." the tank grumbled. "And the editing room! What the frag were they thinking?! Even Bonecrusher has more airtime than I do and he hates almost everything!"

As if to punctuate his point, yells of delight erupted when the Buffalo mock attacked over the fans' heads with his manipulator arm-claw.

The military helicopter snorted in amusement, grabbed his fellow Decepticon by the shoulder and turned him around. "If you think you're lacking attention, think again."

Red optics blinked at a group of premiere attendees that were carrying what appeared to be his pictures from the early leak, as well other writing materials held towards his direction expectantly. Brawl's face showed as much surprise it could express in that he didn't expect there were people that even recognized him and apparently liked him enough to ask for his signature. Somewhat touched, the Abrams set his optics to handle the constant flashing as he settled down to the humans' level.

Two engines from above heralded the remaining Decepticon pair, performing a low fly-by that sent anything that wasn't properly secured almost everywhere. Racous cheering erupted, some chanting the leader's name while others opted for the Raptor's. Starscream performed several barrel rolls in his bipedal form before landing gently on the carpet, careful not to rip the material with his touch down, even though the workers had assured its resilience against most damages. Megatron, not one to be outdone by his subordinate, practically transformed right into his mech mode the same way he did during filming. Whistles and delighted yells brought a toothy smirk to his visage, relishing the humans' excitement over his entrance as well the momentary pout (if one could call it that) on his deputy commander's face.

Catching Ironhide's optics he issued a simple nod, to which the Autobot weapons specialist returned one with reluctant courtesy. The Topkick fought the urge to whip out his cannons, even though it's been vorns and only recently with the filming. So tempting...

Sports car revving beyond normal Earth standards and screeching tires revealed the silver hardtop Solstice drifting beautifully around the corner of eastbound Le Conte to the gathering, burnout smoke trailing from behind. Deftly weaving between the still moving Lincolns, Jazz dodged the last one by slamming one hand onto uncovered asphalt, somersaulted with an upside-down quad-flip over a still crouching Bumblebee while transforming, and skated smoothly to a stop on his tire-heels with the grace of an Olympic figure skater. All done without barely scuffing up the carpet. "What's crackin', lil' bitches?"

A great majority of the present young adult male population's eardrums, and the unprepared giant mechs' audio receptors, nearly blew at the young adult females' immediate reactions.

"Stststyle, alright," Frenzy groused as he waited for his audios to stop ringing ("Noisy noisy noisy!") and glared at the grinning Autobot lieutenant, now signing for a fan who had traveled all the way from Singapore. "Show off..."

A semi's horn blew politely and as one, the entire crowd were soon roaring the Autobot leader's name or clapping louder than before as he humbly pulled into view and transformed into his bipedal form. As if on cue, all the reporters were soon sounding off at speeds that even impressed the tiny Decepticon.

"'Bout time ya got here, Prime," Ironhide rumbled, stance relaxing minutely.

"My apologies for keeping everyone waiting." Optimus gingerly eased his bulk onto the walkway, smiling at his oldest friend and lightly waving at the excited spectators. "There was a small incident on the freeway that held me up."

"It wouldn't happen to involve drivers who were too busy gawking at you to pay attention to the road while driving, now would it?" Megatron jabbed but not unkindly.

"Not this time; a car had one of its tire unexpectedly deflated and I simply helped move it to the shoulder before leaving it to the proper authorities." Prime gave a chuckle and looked about before nodding to himself. Kabuta was already on Craig's show, whereas Dispensor, XBot, and Lock Wheel were getting ready to handle Leno, Letterman, and O'Brien. Staff and crew outside the theaters were already pointedly tapping at their watches. "Since we're all here, shall we get started?"

Excited whoops from Jazz, Bumblebee, and Barricade punctuated the air, throwing their fists up. Frenzy gave a hiss of relief, not wanting to be held liable should any of his female fans be injured by giving him unexpected (but not undesired) hugs. The remaining mechs gave grunts of agreement while Scorponok emitted an agreeing electronic chirrup.

Since two theaters were hosting the screenings and neither one could hold all of them together, they had agreed to splitting up as evenly as possible between the Mann Village and Mann Bruin Theaters.

As Ratchet was following Bumblebee towards the Bruin, his processors finally reminded him what had bothering him ever since arriving.

"I do have a question..."

Autobots and Decepticons paused, turning to look at him.

The medic gestured around them.

"If this is a movie premiere within the United States -- near Hollywood, at that -- then why are we using a blue carpet instead of the traditional red carpet to hold it? The Sydney premiere had a camouflage pattern to represent the military's involvement."

Jazz pointed at the numerous banners that hung from the street lamps.

"Los Angeles Film Festival. Use the Web, man."

A/N: Written for the Allspark July Fic Challenge "Red Carpet". Yeah, minor spoilers but nothing too big if you haven't watched it yet (WHICH YOU SHOULD) or paid close attention to what's been flying around the net.

Los Angeles held the US premiere where they had the full scale 17' Bumblebee in bot mode and had all five Autobots in vehicle modes, as well Bumblebee's 1976/77 Camaro and Barricade's Saleen. Yes, blue carpet.

Some elements borrowed with permission from Dvandom's entry at the Allspark.