For as long as Edward Elric could remember, he had seen the world a little bit… differently. It wasn’t something easy to place your finger on, and he wasn’t very vocal about it. He remembered the odd looks generated by mentioning it in school when he and Al were very small.
“I can’t paint with these colors, they taste bad!” A barely five year old Edward huffed at his teacher.
“Well, you’re not supposed to be eating them, Edward.” The teacher tried to explain patiently. No matter how many times he explained that he knew that, and he wasn’t eating them, they just tasted bad, the teacher didn’t believe him. It wasn’t his fault that reds and purples tasted like mud.
Even Al looked at him funny when he tried to explain, so he just gave up and painted mud. He’d gotten in trouble for making an ‘ugly’ picture. What did they expect? They gave him ugly colors.
The quirk had translated to Alchemy as well. There was a reason he was constantly altering arrays. Some of them just plain smelled and tasted horrible. He despised the ones that tasted like milk the most. They were usually accompanied by the awful, sickly purple-red that had no name, because apparently no one but him could see it. Sometimes, very rarely, they were purple-blue.
His earliest memories came in hazy colors of sweet-sunshine-hot gold and caramel, accompanied by the ozone scent of Alchemy, and the deep amber he associated with the old bastard’s voice. As much as he hated the man, those were some of his best memories. Hoenheim’s Alchemy had always come with the best flavors. As if he knew something to make even the worst looking arrays look, taste, and smell better.
Ed had attempted to recreate the colors and flavors in his own alchemy. Most of the time the closest he got was a pleasant, buttery yellow color that felt like flower petals. But that took work. He usually just stuck to the sticky-sweet blues that most people could use when he had to transmute quickly.
Of course, that didn’t exactly help him right now. There wasn’t really anything to safely transmute when he was traveling with Al on a train. The engineers tended to get upset if you transmuted their trains. Not even when it was to save a lot of people’s lives and stop some terrorists.
Or when you put it back afterward, apparently. But he rather thought it was worth it, because there was a happy and safe little girl, and the general only had a small hole in his ear. All in all, he considered that a good day, even with people getting upset at him over some minor details. Still, he’d managed a quite impressive neon green that tasted a bit like grapes. Not that anyone else had seen it. That tweak had been interesting, if only for that moment.
Currently, he was tuning out the officer… Roy Mustang. That man’s alchemy blazed orange-gold like the fire it produced, smelled of burnt sugar, and felt like velveteen. He wouldn’t ever admit it, or at least didn’t think he would, but it was quickly becoming his new favorite alchemy color. He wasn’t even sure how to explain it, anyway. He heard something vaguely about following the man and did so, lost in his own thoughts.