"No! Stop! Do you understand the word 'no'?" Tony yelped as Loki stood, gripping the lab counter, for the sole purpose of sending the coffee machine to the lab floor.
"Do you?" Steve raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'm not sure," Pepper said.
"Hey, you two can not gang up on me!" Tony pointed between the two of them, then at Loki. "He's the one who's done something!"
"This time," Pepper said, and remained impassive when Tony frowned at her.
Tony called Dum-E up to sweep away the broken coffee pot, then rounded on Thor. "Seriously, can't you keep him from tearing the place apart?"
Thor apologized gravely, all the while trying to prevent Loki from snatching the broom from Dum-E's claw. As Thor pulled Loki away from the glass, the broom sailed away from Dum-E.
Tony huffed. They were trying to be accepting of Loki, accommodating, but he really could be a menace.
Pepper wasn't a telepath, but she gave Tony a look telling him that he couldn't really talk.
Tony and Loki may have both shoved Clint off the couch to claim the seats themselves (but hey, it was Tony's tower). Still, Tony never turned Chow Mein into a carton of snakes. He never made shoes try to eat their owners' feet. And no, his robotic recycling bins that chased Stark Industries interns around to gobble their recyclables and headbutted anyone trying to trash paper or plastic bottles was not the same thing.
"We've fallen down the rabbit hole." Tony remarked, when things in the tower kept changing sizes. "You're turning my tower into Wonderland."
Tiny chairs were annoying, but when Tony's blueberries started growing in his mouth, making his cheeks bulge like a chipmunk, well… what if they grew on the way down? Could Tony even snack around Loki now?
Tony was almost glad when Loki started routinely disappearing. Loki clearly enjoyed Thor's panicked hunts.
When they went to Xavier's Institute, Loki still refused to listen. He'd raid Beast's class, steal students' books. He routinely rummaged through Professor X's study, pulling books off shelves and leaving them discarded on the floor.
No amount of disappointed stares or lectures from Steve had any effect. Loki did as he wished, no matter what anyone else wanted. Thor would haul Loki away from something dangerous, but had very little sway when telling Loki not to do something.
Really, telling Loki not to do something only encouraged him. Tony could admit he was the same, but it was so much more frustrating when Loki did it.
Loki got into some dangerous stuff, too. He'd go right up to Clint and Natasha cleaning their guns. The guns weren't exactly the dangerous part; they were all disassembled already. But even Tony knew not to mess with Natasha's weapons unless she specifically asked for an upgrade, and Tony was the one who jabbed Bruce.
Loki carelessly fiddled with the gun components, immune to the look Natasha was giving him or Clint's less-intimidating "Aw, Loki, no."
"You're either very brave or very stupid." Tony remarked, arching an eyebrow.
Thor's expression became thunderous. "Have care how you speak. Loki is not-"
"Didn't mean it like that," Tony raised his hands in surrender. Loki tossed a cartridge across the room.
Thor pulled Loki away. "You must not disturb our shield brother and sister while they tend to their weapons."
Even Natasha's tricks didn't seem to work on Loki. He flat-out ignored some of her manipulation tactics, seeming almost unimpressed. When she left some old guns, guns she would never actually use in a fight, laying around, Loki completely disregarded them. He only wanted them when it would inconvenience someone else. Really, he didn't want the guns at all, he just wanted to annoy people.
Sure, a lot of the team could be annoying. Very few people were able to tolerate Tony for any length of time. Steve drove Tony nuts in return, Natasha scared practically everyone.
But Loki took the chaos to a whole new level. It didn't even have anything to do with his disabilities. It was quite clear that Loki was trying to be unmanageable, that he enjoyed driving them crazy.
One morning, Tony and Bruce stumbled into the kitchen after a night in the lab to find the knives doing a sort of stabbing tap dance on the countertop. Bruce turned and walked right out again, perhaps wondering if Loki would make a cutlery tornado.
Loki was, quite frankly, out of control. And sure, Tony hated the thought of anyone trying to control him, had blown off Howard or Fury's orders, but they really had to draw a line somewhere with Loki. Dancing knives and venomous snakes seemed like a pretty clear line.
As Steve said, neither royalty nor disabilities should give Loki a pass to endanger the team. Thor had learned humility, had learned to take others into account. Loki wasn't incapable of learning, even if he hadn't learned to care for himself.
But who would Loki listen to? He enjoyed Jarvis' stories, but Jarvis' defense measures were a bit too extreme.
Still, what happened if he didn't listen, if someone really got hurt? They were trying to convince Fury that Loki wasn't dangerous, and yet…
"We should call Coulson," Clint said. "If he can handle all of us, he can handle Loki."
Coulson already had handled Loki, during one of the attacks.
He showed up with his usual bland expression, completely unfazed by the kitchen cabinets gnawing on the fruit bowl.
Loki studied Coulson's impeccable suit. Not to be outdone, Loki's own clothes morphed to match. He sat imperiously in his chair, studying Coulson with the same intensity that Professor X studied Loki.
Coulson had managed to gain Clint and Natasha's trust. He'd even- sort of- managed to wrangle Tony, and he wasn't going to threaten to taser anyone this time. Jarvis had never forgiven him for that, even if Tony had brushed it off.
It seemed impossible that someone could be more challenging than Natasha or Tony, but Loki had proven to be more challenging than all of the Avengers combined.
One of my students would routinely swipe things from other kids or even other classrooms and refuse to return them, raid my desk, etc and I honestly had no idea how to stop it. I'm not a fan of ABA and behavior modification in general, but you wouldn't want to let any kid get away with stealing, or ruining another kid's work or something without consequences. Still, I had no clue what to do about it this year, so writing Coulson trying is probably going to be a challenge. And as much as I struggled, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with sentient furniture trying to eat my stuff, though.