Thor was pleased with the progress Loki made in accepting the group of blue men, but things quickly worsened.
The next day, Loki tugged at his hair furiously. Thor tried brushing it for him, but Loki screamed and batted him away, only to continue yanking his own hair. He once again tore chunks out.
"Do you wish to be bald?" Thor asked, puzzled. Loki had torn his hair out to look like the Professor, but the Professor was not here.
Could Loki possibly be trying to make himself look like the Blue Men? It seemed impossible, and of course there was a much easier, less painful way to be a blue man.
Thor hesitated. Would Loki be hurt by revealing his Jotun form? The stories told of skin so cold it burned.
"Are you trying to be a blue man?" Thor asked, half expecting to be screamed at immediately.
Loki put a fist over his eye, and Thor asked "Are you mimicking Director Fury?"
Loki looked away dismissively and resumed pulling his hair.
"I can cut it." Thor said.
Across the room, Tony raised his eyebrows. "Since when were you a hairdresser? I can book an appointment with my stylist."
Thor tried to untangle Loki's fingers from his locks.
Loki drummed his wheelchair tray, but otherwise remained silent.
"You know, the blue men aren't actually bald." Tony said from across the room. "Just like they aren't actually blue."
Loki banged his tray some more, and Thor smiled "You make an excellent blue man, brother."
Maybe, someday, Loki would be comfortable enough to show his skin.
The next time they went to Xavier's Institute, Loki actively approached Kurt and Hank, speeding his wheelchair towards them.
He swung his arm, but not at them. Loki thumped his tray rhythmically, and looked affronted until they joined in.
Thor beamed at his brother making his own Blue Man Group, even if Loki still wouldn't show his blue side.
When Thor tried to participate, Loki shrieked at him as if to say you aren't blue.
"You are not blue," Thor pointed out. Loki stared intently at his pale hands, as if considering turning them blue, but his hoodie turned blue instead. With the hood up, he almost looked like a bald blue man.
Loki's hands turned blue, covered in raised lines. His wheelchair tray froze and shattered over the next two hits, and Loki stopped his rhythm.
He waved his hand at the shattered, frozen remains of his tray. Thor glanced around for something else to drum, and then realized his cape was frozen solid.
Loki had a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
Later, Loki froze Logan's beer just as he was about to take a swig. Logan raised an eyebrow and muttered "Another Iceman, huh?"
Loki grabbed Logan's hand. Logan's skin was quickly covered in frostbite, but healed just as fast.
Loki rapped the back of Logan's knuckles, which froze and healed.
Logan grunted. "You trying to freeze my claws to my bones?"
Loki flung an arm out with a sound, as if trying to mime Logan's claws springing out.
"Stop freezing me, then." Logan grumbles. "I'm used to the cold, but you're something else."
Logan's claws popped out of his fist. Loki tossed his head towards them, dangerously close.
Logan jerked his claws away, asking if Loki had a death wish.
"You want a haircut." Thor realized with wide eyes. He was sure Loki would object to scissors or Midgardian methods like electric clippers. Why was he choosing this?
"Do I look like a barber, bub?" Logan asked.
"You look like you need one." Tony lifted his own beer bottle towards Logan's flyaway mane and wild sideburns.
Loki jerked his head at Logan, clearly wondering why Logan wasn't hacking off his hair already.
"These are more suited for chopping off heads." Logan told him.
Loki cackled at that, then scowled when Logan's claws retracted.
Logan stalked off and returned with a boy named Bobby, who he called Ice Kid.
"It's Iceman." Bobby muttered, and Logan simply gave him an unimpressed look.
"He'll show you some cool ice tricks." Logan grunted, before walking off to get another beer.
Bobby looked a bit taken aback to suddenly be thrust into the role of teacher rather than student, but quickly crafted a little penguin out of ice. Loki waved a hand, and it exploded into fragments.
The rest of Loki's ice lesson went in a similar vein. Loki spent half the time not even attempting to try whatever Bobby was showing him, and the other half actively sabotaging things. Bobby grew frustrated, muttering that his own teachers shouldn't complain about their classes.
By the end, Loki had clearly demonstrated that Bobby wasn't the boss of him, and he wasn't going to be listening to a teenager.
Thor sighed as they returned home. Despite playing with a new ability, Loki didn't seem to get much out of the lessons.
Clint was about to pour another mug of coffee when the contents of the coffee pot suddenly froze solid. The glass cracked, and the frozen coffee fell to the floor, sliding across the floor.
"Aw, ice, no." Clint groaned. They were supposed to be encouraging Loki's powers, but he really wished Loki would learn some control. He'd lost count of the number of drinks that had been frozen since Loki's last visit to Xavier's Institute.
It would be one thing if it was the drinks, but Loki had taken to freezing the floor to watch people slip and fall. He cackled every time, as if slipping on ice was the peak of comedy.
"It'd be funny if it wasn't me." Tony grumbled, hauling himself up by one of his lab tables as his feet slid around under him. "What, are we going to have to wear ice skates everywhere?"
Dum-E slid into the wall with a squeal, and Loki grinned wickedly.
Loki wasn't always pleased with his new ice powers. Sometimes his own drinks would freeze, and he'd even frozen his books a few times, preventing him from turning the pages.
To celebrate Loki somewhat accepting his Jotun heritage, Thor wanted to deck the tower out in blue, but Jarvis informed him that such an act was rather controversial.
"Autism Speaks is an advocate for eradicating autism, and it seeks a cure."
"What is this autism you speak of?"
Tony butted in to explain that it was like running on a different operating system, which only confused Thor further.
Bruce explained it was all about experiencing the world in a different way, and that everyone was different. Some were nonverbal, like Loki, some spoke a lot. Some people found sensory experiences uncomfortable or even unbearable, while others craved them.
Thor wasn't sure why anyone would want to eradicate autism, or how one could without eradicating the person entirely. Thor might not have understood all of Tony's explanations about operating systems, but he knew they played a part in everything on the device they ran.
Seeking to cure such a condition sounded rather like the people who wanted a cure for mutants. Some mutations could be dangerous, such as Rogue's, but there was nothing dangerous about Loki's condition. Sure, his magic wreaked havoc sometimes, but so could Thor's thunder if it went unchecked. That was a separate issue.
"Autism Speaks typically spreads fear about the condition, portraying it as ruining lives." Jarvis tells him. Loki definitely had his challenges, but Thor would hardly say his life was a tragedy, or ruined.
"I will not light the tower blue." Thor decided. They could celebrate Loki's heritage another way. Loki could freeze a fountain, or make an ice rink. "If Loki possesses this autism, I do not wish to offend him or others like him."
"I cannot say if Loki is autistic, as I am not a medical doctor capable of diagnosis." Jarvis says. "Even if he is, he appears to have numerous comorbid conditions."
"That sounds morbid," Tony mutters, and Bruce tells him it's the medical term.
Loki spat, watching as his spit froze and bounced across the floor.
"I am proud you are blue, brother." Thor told him, even if he was displeased that an organization sullied the use of decorating with such a color.
I wasn't planning the spiel against Autism Speaks, but it's April 2 so it just kind of came out. I don't know if any of the students Loki is based on were diagnosed as being on the spectrum, but they all had multiple disabilities.