Sure, he'd known it was a possibility. Hell, he'd known it was likely. Still, seeing it stamped on his form, uncompromising, so final, was a bit different from knowing the possibility.
As he walked back home to the tiny apartment he shared with Bucky, he looked at it again, a few more times, as if continuing to check would change that stamp. It didn't.
When he walked in the door, Bucky took one look at him and knew. He walked over and clapped him on the back reassuringly. "Hey, buddy, don't worry about it. I know you wanted it bad, but y'know how it works. Let's go out. Drinks on me."
Steve just nodded, smiled a little, and tucked his form away.
If at first you don't succeed, after all...
Maybe next try he'd be from Jersey.