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"Eat this," Bucky said, and shoved a foil package the size of a tennis ball in Steve's face.

"No," Steve said, but he took the foil package and began prying it open.

Ever since they'd met at the age of six, Bucky had been forcing food on him, until Steve's automatic reaction to every suggestion he eat something was no. It had become a joke after Steve had started cooking under Chef Erskine, and anyway he hadn't done it in years, so Steve was understandably suspicious.

"Eat it, it's amazing," Bucky insisted, putting a fork in his hand.

Steve tugged the foil open finally, and a waft of buttery steam hit him in the face. He looked down into a gooey heap of cheese, bacon, and what looked like pulled pork, heaped on a baked potato.

"Is this a prank?" he asked, lifting the pulled pork with the tines of the fork.

"Eat it, oh my God," Bucky said, so Steve loaded up the fork and, with one final narrow-eyed look, bit into it.

"Oh Jesus," he said, mouth full.

"I know!"

"Jesus, who did this, where did you find it? Was it a wizard?" Steve asked, swallowing and going in for another huge mouthful.

"Potato Rescue," Bucky said.

"What's Potato Rescue?"

"It's a new truck. It's not on your route. It's the best thing ever and I'm going to eat nothing but potatoes from now on," Bucky informed him.

"This is a food truck baked potato?" Steve asked. "How did he keep the bacon crispy? My bacon never stays crispy."

"That's what you care about?"

"I care about this entire baked potato," Steve said gravely. "I care deeply. We need to find the man who made it before Tony does."

"...what? Why before Tony does?"

"Because he'll offer him a job and nobody who makes potatoes this good should work in a kitchen where things explode, also he might ask him to marry him and I have dibs," Steve said.

"Everyone knows you have dibs on Tony."

"No, I have Dibs on Potato Guy," Steve said, ducking into the truck and closing the service window. "Throw your bike on the rack and get in, you have to take me to him."

***

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * August 31
Change in location, we're now at Roosevelt Park by the New Museum.

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * August 31
Caravaning with Potato Rescue. Show us your potato and get a discount on our wings!

***


Potato Rescue logo by Tumblr user monobuu.

Sam Wilson was entirely unprepared for a sparkling blue food truck to pull past him with its horn going and sneak into the spot in front of him at Roosevelt Park. It wasn't the most popular place to park and sell during the lunch rush, and it wasn't like trucks were normally hustling to get here.

"All right if we park here?" a blond guy yelled out the window, and Sam shrugged and gestured to the empty spot. It took him a second to realize who the guy was, and then he had to run from the service hatch to the front of the truck to be sure --

WAR ON HUNGER read the delicate painted lettering across the back of the truck.

"Oh, shit," he said, right as Steve Rogers put his head through the service hatch.

"Hiya!" he called, and Sam whirled, startled. "I'm -- "

"The Hot Hipster Chef!" Sam said, and Steve sighed.

"Yeah," he said, a wry smile crossing his face.

"War on Hunger!" Sam managed, pointing at the truck.

"Yep, that's me."

"What the hell are you doing here, man?" Sam asked. "Don't you have like a million people waiting for you somewhere significantly more crowded than here?"

"Probably," Steve shrugged. "I want..." he leaned back and consulted the chalkboard menu. "Oh, wow, I want some hummus mashed potatoes with beef chili."

"You...do," Sam said uncertainly.

"This is Bucky," Steve added, pointing behind him. Sam remembered Bike Messenger Bucky vaguely; he'd bought a baked potato about an hour ago, then come back for a second one before pedaling off like Satan was chasing him. "He gave me your pulled pork baked potato."

Sam wasn't sure what was happening, but a line was already forming behind Steve.

"O...kay," Sam said, reaching for a tray and spooning some of the mashed potatoes into it. "You said with the beef chili?"

"Yes. Also I may have tweeted a thing," Steve said. "If people buy a potato from you they get a discount on my wings. I hope that's okay."

Sam looked from Steve to the line and back again. "Yeah, man, that's...that's fine."

"Great!" Steve said, with a sunny look that promised so much trouble for Sam's future. "Thank you! Here -- "

"Nah, on the house," Sam said, waving off Steve's money.

"Oh, thank you! I'll come back after the lunch rush. Yell if you need change or anything!" Steve called, and hurried back to War on Hunger.

Sam looked at the line that was now snaking down the block.

"I might not have made enough potatoes," he said, but he pasted on a smile and started taking orders.

***

"See, I think potatoes are a viable business plan," Sam said, sitting on the back of the War on Hunger food truck. Steve and Bucky were eating the last of the pierogies (the latkes, sweet potato balls, and twice-baked potatoes had long since sold) and Sam had a shrimp-burger slider prepared by Steve Rogers' own hand, in a sweet pineapple roll, and was trying not to make "yum" noises. (Bucky wasn't even bothering trying not to, which was flattering.)

"I don't see why not," Steve said. "It's good comfort food."

"Yeah, and Millennials like them," Sam said. "Hipsters love a custom-topped baked potato."

Steve nodded over his pierogie, dipping it in chili sauce. "So what's the problem?"

"Breaking into the scene is hard, I guess," Sam said. "I kinda figured a food truck would be my foot in the door, but getting my foot in the food truck door...it's not easy."

"So it's just a question of business placement? Because this food is great, you should be getting more word of mouth," Steve said.

"I keep getting shut out of the festivals." Sam shrugged. "I think word got around that I'm black."

Steve mugged a shocked face. "You're black? I feel lied to," he said to Bucky.

"Yeah, it's funny if you're not me," Sam said sourly. "I know my food is good but they don't, and I'm not selling fried chicken or soul food, so..."

"Seriously?" Steve said.

"That blows," Bucky added.

"I'm aware," Sam replied.

"So where are you going, after food trucks?" Steve said. "Catering? Your own place?"

"You're gonna laugh," Sam said. "You especially, I saw your documentary."

Steve rolled his eyes. "I didn't approve that."

"That's why you'll laugh."

"Come on, Sam. I'm eating the best pierogie I've ever had outside a Jewish deli. I won't laugh."

Sam fiddled with the last of his shrimp slider. "I wanna do a cooking show."

"Really?" Steve asked, and then with a tinge of horror, "Why?"

"No, not like...I don't want to do a Lagasse and sell spice mix or anything like that, like, I'm not in it for fame and millions. I just..." Sam shrugged. "A lot of people I meet grew up not knowing how to cook. People ask me all the time how to make a baked potato. It's not cool that nobody knows how to do this really basic thing. I feel like there's a generation who thinks you get granola in a paper bag from Whole Foods."

"Yes! I was just telling Bucky -- wasn't I just saying that?" Steve said. Bucky sighed and nodded.

"Well, I think people should know how to cook if they want to. I think someone should teach them, you know, without judgement, just...lay it all out. Say it's okay if you're makin' cookies and you only have cheap all-purpose flour. I want to teach people to make good food and not pay a million dollars for it." Sam gave Steve a shy look. "Like your food. Only you know, cooler, 'cause it's me," he added, much less shyly.

Steve beamed. "That's great! I wouldn't laugh at that."

"Well, I know it wasn't what you wanted."

"That's because they wanted to sell me. I didn't want to sell me, you don't either. You want to sell the food. Totally different. Hey, do you have a youtube or a podcast or anything?"

"I have a youtube. Nobody watches it." Sam pointed to the URL painted on the front of his truck.

"Well," Steve said. "This all seems very easy to fix."

"It does?" Sam asked.

"It does?" Bucky echoed.

"Sure. You'll caravan with me."

"I don't -- "

"I won't take no for an answer. It means I can stop making fries, too. Jesus, I hate making fries," Steve said.

"He hates frying food," Bucky said. "It's abnormal."

"But you park at TOBRU," Sam said. "They're not gonna like a second truck showing up."

"I'm dating half of TOBRU," Steve said. "They can put up with it or they can sleep on the couch."

"Why would you do that?" Sam asked. "You barely know me."

"Well, I'll watch your youtube tonight," Steve said. "People have done nicer things with less, Sam. Just one condition."

Sam's face shuttered briefly. "Yeah?" he asked warily.

"You gotta save like, a pint of your mashed brown sugar sweet potatoes tomorrow, I'm gonna bribe Tony."

Sam blinked, startled, and then laughed. "Sure. Okay," he said. He offered his hand, and Steve shook it. "You got a deal."

***

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * September 2
Potato Rescue ( @friesonthefly ) is parked with War On Hunger again today, outside Tobru from 4pm - 8pm.

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * September 2
RT @friesonthefly Sam Wilson Teaches You How To Make Potato Salad If You’re Broke https://youtu.be/I4Sno4zeF9g

***

"You have to, Steve," Sam said, six months later. "You did all this, you have to come on the show."

Steve crossed his arms. "You don't need me on your cooking show, Sam."

"My hits doubled when you did that cameo on my youtube channel!"

"And they stayed double, which was all you. Besides, this is Netflix," Steve said. He leaned back, full of latke and brisket, and passed the last of his latke to Bucky, who was still plowing through Potato Rescue's leftovers. "Netflix, Sam! You're their first original cooking show, everyone's gonna be watching."

"But I need an assistant. You know I need someone to play off, I need a straight man."

Steve raised an eyebrow.

"You know what I mean. You'd be so good at it. Come on, just once, then I'll find someone else to do the rest."

"Sam, you know how I feel about doing cooking shows. Even good ones like yours. I know food trucks was a way in for you and I respect that but for me, you know, food trucks...is what I want." Steve furrowed his brow. "We must know someone who would do it."

"Bruce," Bucky suggested, mouth full. "Or Tony."

"Tony Stark on my cooking show," Sam said skeptically.

"You'd be lucky to get a word in edgewise," Bucky said.

"It'd put paid to the rumors I stole Steve from him."

"Aw don't do that, I started those," Bucky said with a grin.

Steve looked back and forth between them. Both of them turned to look at him.

"You know, I taught Bucky to cook," Steve said.

"Oh, no," Bucky said.

"He's great with a knife. He's an ideal sous chef."

"You can't put a face like this on television," Bucky said, pointing to his face.

"You can't be a bike messenger forever," Steve said.

"Yes I can."

"We do have chemistry," Sam said.

"I failed chemistry in high school," Bucky said.

"I'll make you poutine," Sam said.

Bucky opened his mouth, then hesitated. "With deep fried cheese curds?"

Sam nodded.

"Okay," Bucky said.

"That's it?" Sam said. "You sold out for fried cheese curds?"

"I negotiated for fried cheese curds," Bucky said smugly.

"I think you two will be Netflix super stars," Steve said, a proud glimmer in his eyes.

***

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * May 14
Couldn't be prouder of #BrokeAndHungry breaking viewing records and getting a second season on #netflix @FriesOnTheFly @EatForABucky

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * May 14
So happy to pass my Hot Hipster Chef crown to Sam Wilson, too

I Didn't Want A Twitter * @eatforabucky * May 14
Yes I will be back for S2 of #brokeandhungry ! Sam promised me potato soup if I came back

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * May 14
@FriesOnTheFly is broke so it's a good thing @EatForABucky is cheap RT @eatforabucky Yes I will be back for S2 of #brokeandhungry ! Sam promised me potato soup

I Didn't Want A Twitter * @eatforabucky * May 14
Sam Wilson is twice the hot hipster chef @onestarsteve will ever be

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * May 14
That wouldn't be hard I AM NOT A HIPSTER RT @EatForABucky Sam Wilson is twice the hot hipster chef @onestarsteve will ever be

Cookin' Up Education * @FriesOnTheFly * May 14
@OneStarSteve @EatForABucky I swear to god if you two don't settle down I'm gonna turn this food truck around and take us straight home.

War On Hunger * @onestarsteve * May 14
@FriesOnTheFly We'll be good.

I Didn't Want A Twitter * @eatforabucky * May 14
But we want twice-baked potatoes with bacon. RT @onestarsteve @FriesOnTheFly We'll be good.