He chuckled. "Not really. I'm not overly fond of the cold, to be honest," he confessed, though the snow was tempting.
"It's always better when you have somewhere warm to cuddle up afterward," she pointed out with a smile. "I think we're going to have to get used to outings in the snow with those two."
"Then you'd better start knitting," he teased, with a gentle tweak of her nose. As a matter of fact, they already had adequate gear for winter, but he couldn't help teasing her.
Nat snorted with laughter, rolling her eyes. "I can't do crafting as well as everything else," she pointed out. "Put two sharp metal sticks in my hands, I only know one thing to do with them."
Colin chuckled, knowing her well enough to know exactly what she meant. "Go for the jugular?" he asked, with an amused twinkle in his eyes. Yes, she was a killer, but she was his killer.
She shook her head, her expression taking on a teasing cast of thoughtfulness. "Kidneys and spleen," she corrected him. "Takes longer to bleed out, more painful. You get more information out of them before they're useless."
He arched a brow at the information, which was probably more than he really needed to know. He'd been a soldier once, but never an assassin. "That's good to know, I guess," he remarked, thinking it was probably time to change the subject, but to what?
She laughed at his expression. "At least you know I never lie about this stuff," she offered by way of reassurance. A squawk from outside drew her attention to where Lara was face down in the snow with Alia sitting on top of her. "Okay, I think it's time I grab a coat."
Colin chuckled, too, as his attention was drawn to their children. "Well, at least, it's not the other way around," he remarked, as he ducked back inside to fetch both their coats. "I'll get them."
"All right." With Colin slipping inside, Nat couldn't resist showing off a little for Alia's benefit, somersaulting off the porch to land right next to the squealing baby girl and lift her up off Lara's back. "Hey, solnyshka, no burying your sister."
Instead of wrapping her arms around her mother's neck, Alia lunged toward her sister, obviously wanting back down. "Snow, Mama!" she declared, slurring the first word a little.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Nat drawled, dropping the tiny girl back down into the snow if only so she could reach down and lift Lara back onto her feet. "Look at you," she chuckled, brushing the soft, cold crystals off the miniature redhead's face and hood. "You okay, Lynska?"
"Papa, snow!" Alia called from the snow bank where she had decided to plop down, a happy grin on her face. After all, she wasn't the one who'd just gotten a faceful of snow. Colin chuckled as he rejoined his little family. "That it is, Lia!" he said, turning to regard their oldest. "Just a little snow," he said, smiling reassuringly, as if it was nothing. "How about if we all make a snowman?" he suggested, Nat's coat tossed over one arm.
Blowing her nose on the tissue Nat produced from her pocket, Lara grinned up at her parents. "C'n we make snow puppy?" she asked, only slightly muffled by the scarf being tucked back in place around her mouth and nose. Nat chuckled to herself, reaching to take ownership of her coat before she really started to feel the cold.
But not before Colin reached to draw the coat around her shoulders. "A snow puppy?" he echoed, letting Nat take care of the rest. "Why not?" he asked, not expecting an answer.
"Cos we got a Coco, an' we c'n make her a friend," Lara explained, looking very serious about this endeavour even as she gestured wildly over to said dog, who was very seriously eating snow.
At least it wasn't yellow snow. He thought Coco would appreciate a live friend better than one made out of snow, but that hardly mattered. "We can try!" he said. "But we're going to need lots of snow, so why don't you and Alia start gathering some up into a big snowball?"
"M'kay!" Lara reached out one mittened hand to grasp hold of Alia's hand, and the two little girls toddled off to find the best patch of snow to make a big snowball out of.
Is she okay?" Colin asked, once the girls had toddled away. He didn't think Alia had done anything on purpose to hurt Lara; the two girls were just having fun and had gotten a little carried away.
Nat nodded. "She's fine," she assured him. "A little chilly in the face and maybe a bit shocked by being stuck in the snow for a little bit, but she's a resilient kid. And we got to them quick."
"I don't think Alia meant to cause her any harm," he said, reaching over to help Nat zip up her coat. Maybe it was the fact that she was from Russia, but she had a bad habit of never zipping up her coat even in the coldest weather.
To her credit, Nat didn't argue with him as he zipped her up, amused and touched that his concern extended to keeping her warm when she was well suited for cold weather. "No, I don't think she did either," she agreed. "I think our little ray of sunshine doesn't know her own strength."
"She does take after her mother," he said. Both girls did really. Though Lara didn't share his DNA, he loved her no less for it. She had come to them via the Nexus, the orphaned love child of another universe's Steve and Nat, in need of a family and a good home. How could he deny her that? "They both do."
"Not entirely," she argued lightly, watching the young pair. "Lara does a lot more thinking it through than I do. She's definitely picking that up from you, Prescott."
He furrowed his brows at her, a little confused. "But Lara is ..." He trailed off. She was biologically Steve's daughter, not his, though he was the one raising her.
"She's your daughter," Nat told him firmly. "Alyona gave her the best gift we could have given her by gently changing what she remembers. She knows you're her dad, Colin. I mean, you're the one she crawls into bed with - I might as well be chopped liver after a nightmare." She grinned at him, hoping he could ease past that one little hurdle.
"So long as no one checks her DNA," he murmured, mostly to himself. What did it matter, after all? Plenty of children were raised by people who weren't their biological parents and never felt any less loved for it.
"Why would anyone do that?" she asked gently. "She loves you, Colin. That's all that really matters, isn't it? You know I won't let any harm come to our family.