Steve never remembers any of it, not actively, anyway. After the initial shock of cold and pain, he recalls nothing except the sorry excuse for a room he woke up in. He wonders how someone could sleep for so long, could survive such a crash, regardless of any serum injected in his veins. He wonders, most of all, if he was at all conscious while he froze and now has forgotten, or whether the ice swallowed him up like a hungry tiger so fast he had no time to remember anything before his body shut down to preserve his life.
But sometimes, even though his mind is both blissfully and maddeningly ignorant of those long years, his body seems to recall exactly how it spent those seventy years. Sometimes his usually pristine body wavers, and he is powerless to stop a sudden influx of cold that doesn't let him think, doesn't let him fight, barely lets him breathe.
When the first...episode happened, he had been certain he was going to die. Never before, even before the serum, had he ever felt such a deep, ingrained cold, that seeped into every corner of his body, demanding complete and utter submission to its freezing control. His body dissolved into no more than a container of violent shivers, mind capable of comprehending little except how cold it is, and how could he possibly cope with these feelings of helplessness, uselessness, of being completely and utterly powerless...
He shakes uncontrollably, sitting on the floor he had managed to find before the cold set in too strongly. The first time had rendered him almost an invalid for hours, unable to control anything about the situation.
He had been lucky that Tony found him, huddled on the floor, or he thinks perhaps the episode would have lasted a good deal longer. He thinks maybe they had already been planning to meet, but he doesn't know, can't be sure because the cold seems to have an uncanny ability to wipe is memory. He was mortified that someone, let alone Tony Stark, had found him in such a weak, powerless state, though such sentiments came much after the fact.
At the time he had barely been able to recognize the billionaire, unable to look past the uncanny resemblance he bore to his apparently long dead friend. Now, in this strange, strange world he was living in, he can tell that the man in front of him is trying to communicate, to talk to him, but Steve can't hear past the solid barrier of ice that seemed to be everywhere.
Steve thinks he himself must be making sound, or at least something along those lines, because Tony is nodding, as though he understands, which Steve hopes is true, because then at least one of them understands what's happening. He isn't sure exactly how it happens, but it seems Tony is slowly guiding him to the couch he hadn't managed to reach.
Tony throws a couple of blankets over him, and then disappears from sight. The blankets help, only the tiniest fraction, but at least the ice in his ears seems to thaw just enough that sounds begin to register again and he is so relieved that this condition might be temporary that he sinks back into the cushions, cold forgotten for a wonderful, carefree moment.
It's back within three seconds, though, and it seems there's naught to do but huddle under the blankets and watch Tony fiddle with the thermostat. Steve always has trouble with the thing, can never get it to change what he wants. More often than not he spends his time in the apartment controlling his body temperature as opposed to trying to fight with the damned little box on the wall.
"So what's your poison, Captain?" It's Tony's voice, quiet and quick, the calm sounding tone he uses when he wants to appear like he's his usual self-obsessed self while he is as worried as anyone else. At Steve's silence, he elaborates, "Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate?"
"H-h-hot ch-ch-choc-clate," Steve manages to respond, wincing at how weak and pathetic his voice sounds.
Tony hums in agreement. "Yep, that's what I would've guessed." A pause. "But dear God, man, how do you possibly make anything in this kitchen? Where's the microwave? Coffee maker? I swear, this stove looks like it experienced Washington's inauguration."
The disdain in Tony's voice concerning something as trivial as a stove would probably have made him laugh if he wasn't so damn cold. "K-k-ket-tle," he gets out, fighting the chatter of his teeth futilely.
"Come over sometime, Captain - I'll show you the modern way to cook," Tony says, tutting softly. "So, Cap, what brought this little event on? All those years as a capsicle finally catching up to you?"
"D-d-don't know," Steve replies as best he can. "Just...s-sud-denly really c-c-cold..."
"Hmm," Tony murmurs, appraising him critically. "Yeah, you're looking a little blue around the edges," he says, a small smirk crossing his face. "Maybe you should get that checked out, girls in this century prefer a healthy tan, you know." He pushes a steaming mug into Steve's hands, carefully making sure Steve has a hold of it before relinquishing it. "There, see if that helps. I'd suggest something stronger - it usually solves my problems - but I hear your body doesn't let alcohol work its magic."
It takes a monumental effort to get the mug to his lips, like his limbs have frozen over and he is trying to fight nature to move them. But when he finally does and gulps down what he hopes are scaldingly hot amounts of liquid, he is rewarded with a wonderful, satisfying, warm sensation spreading through his body. He closes his eyes, sinking back into the cushions in relief.
When he opens them again, he's surprised at the number of blankets that are piled on him. The cold has almost completely abated, just a slight tingle in the tips of his fingers. He sits up, looking around, sighing when it seems he's alone. He rubs his face tiredly, sinking back down, reveling in the feeling of being overheated.
A flash of white catches his eye. He turns, reaching out to the side table, where a cup of still-hot soup sits, along with a small scrap of paper. Feel better, Cap. Would be a shame to lose you before you fully experience this century.
The next morning he found a neatly packaged Northface jacket outside his door, with a unsigned, hastily scrawled note.
Just in case.