Evolution wasn't a concept that applied only to humans and no matter how advanced they were the flu virus happily evolved along them. Mutants were not spared.
Well, except Darwin but that was his thing.
On the downside it meant for him that he had to play nursemaid to the nine ill mutants currently living in the mansion (Moira had been clever and sought refuge in flight).
Darwin knocked on Sean's door and waited. When he heard nothing he knocked again. And again. Finally Sean ripped the door open and glared at him.
"Hey, I was raised only to come in when called." Darwin told him with his brightest grin. If looks could kill even Darwin's adaptability might not have saved him. Sean took the tray with food from his hands and forcefully shut the door close.
"Thanks for dinner, Darwin." Darwin mimicked and laughed when Sean kicked against the door in response. That Sean of all of them should lose his voice through the flu was pure irony in Darwin's eyes.
"Angel?" He asked, knocking on her door and got no answer as well. Other than with Sean, who was relatively okay, it concerned Darwin that she wasn't answering.
"I'm coming in, okay?" He heard a faint whimper when he opened the door. Angel's bed was a mess and Angel herself had curled up in a corner, knees drawn up to her face.
"Hey, "He crossed the room, kneeling down next to her. "What are you doing out of bed?"
"I threw up on it." Angel whispered hoarsely. An acid spewing mutant with the flu had all sorts of nasty side-effects, this being one of them.
"It's okay, we'll find you a different room." He smiled at her, stroking her sweaty hair.
"Do you want me to get Raven to help you clean up?" She nodded weakly.
"I'll be right back."
Like Sean Raven wasn't actually that ill, she just couldn't go outside since she changed appearances every time she sneezed but Darwin had decided right in the beginning of the flu wave to keep his patients mostly separate from each other or none of them would be cured completely.
"Raven, can I come in?"
"Surprise," a very red nosed version of James Dean opened the door only to shift into Raven's blue default form albeit a still red nosed one. Flu viruses didn't care for shapeshifting at all.
"Can you look after Angel? She needs some help to get cleaned up and a new bed."
"Sure, "She gave him a concerned look. "Are you sure you don't need help with the rest as well?"
"If you want to check up on Hank be my guest," He winked at her. The flu had made Hank go into some sort of hibernation which had freaked them all out. She hit him playfully.
"Ow." He protested.
"Adapt to it." She told him mock-seriously and walked off to Angel's room.
Janos and Azazel were the next people on his round.
"Si," Janos called from inside. He was hiding under at least four thick blankets, wearing a number of jumpers, most of them Charles' and definitely unflattering on Janos, and at least one of Erik's turtlenecks.
"Dinner and medicine." Darwin announced, setting the tray down on the nightstand.
"Azazel is..."He trailed off when Janos gave him a look that clearly said What do you think?
As with Raven sneezing had an interesting effect on Azazel's power although his was more inconvenient than Raven's since she didn't end up at odd places all over the world every time she sneezed.
Darwin was just leaving when Azazel returned, drenched to the bone. He muttered something in Russian and headed straight out of the door for the bathroom. Darwin tried to hide his smirk and closed the door behind him.
Erik was a surprisingly reasonable and docile patient who took his medicine without protest and stayed in bed when it was appropriate, except of course when he had to hunt down Charles who fell more into the "I can will away the flu with my mind" category of patients and needed to be dragged back to bed at all hours.
Darwin certainly didn't envy Erik.
Plus, thanks to Charles spending way too much time in Erik's memories they had all been subject to Charles' feverish and horribly detailed nightmares and some other, a lot less horrible but a lot more explicit dreams that had taught Darwin that Charles' knew exactly how Erik looked under those turtlenecks.
Darwin knocked very softly since Charles was usually a light sleeper.
"Come in." Erik said. Charles was fast asleep next to Erik who was stroking his hair.
"Fever's down." Erik told Darwin when he put the tray on the table.
"I can cure myself once he behaves in a reasonable way again." Erik almost smiled. "How are the others?"
"Sean and Raven will be fine in two, three days, Azazel teleported somewhere very wet I hope that won't make it worse, Janos and Angel seem pretty bad off. I haven't been to Alex yet."
"Thank you." Erik said sincerely.
"Any time." Darwin replied easily.
Alex was actually the one that had Darwin worried the most. His fever was too high and wreaking havoc in his body, no pun intended. It almost seemed as if his power was bleeding from him which was why they had had to put him in the bunker.
He could feel the heat before he even opened the door to the bunker. His skin rippled the nearer he got, adapting to the intense heat. It was a sign that the fever still hadn't gone down.
Armando closed the bunk door behind him and gingerly sat down on the edge of Alex's bed.
"Hey." He laid a wet rag on Alex's forehead in a vain attempt to ease the fever. Alex flinched away from the damp cloth.
"No," he opened his eyes, staring incomprehensively at Armando, covered in scales. "Monster...go...away...monster."
Armando didn't pretend that it didn't hurt to hear Alex call him a monster but he firmly reminded himself that it was the illness speaking and not Alex.
"It's okay, Alex, it's me, Armando." He pressed a cup to Alex's lips, forcing him to drink. Alex whimpered when he drank greedily. His eyes were closed again and leaned his forehead against Armando's chest.
"You'll be fine," Armando promised him. "You'll get better in couple days."
"Darwin?" Alex murmured faintly. Hope spread through Armando like fire. It was the first time since Alex's fever had gotten this high that he recognised him.
"Yeah, it's me. Just sleep, okay? I'm here."
He stayed in the cellar with Alex in his arms for a long time until he finally fell asleep next to Alex, his body still unconsciously adapting to the intense heat surrounding him.