Part 20 - A Cruel Angel's Work Ethic

It was a rainy morning when Toji and Kensuke came by the Katsuragi apartment to meet up with Shinji before they headed to school. After supplying them with a couple of towels to dry off, the Third Child bore witness to what would've been the start of another verbal sparring session between Asuka and Toji, one that was nipped in the bud when Misato walked out, dressed and ready to head into NERV. Both Kensuke and Toji straightened up immediately in her presence, due to their tendency to go ga-ga over her.

Kensuke: "Sorry for disturbing you!"

Misato: "Well, welcome, you two. Oh, Shinji, friendly reminder, we've got a harmonics test tonight, so don't be late."

Shinji: "Right."

Misato [looking to the hallway]: "Did you hear that, Asuka?"

Asuka [from her room, slightly sarcastic]: "Yes, Ma'am!"

It was then that Kensuke, slightly adjusting his glasses, took note of a new addition to the collar of Misato's red jacket.

Kensuke [bowing as he speaks]: "Congratulations on your promotion!"

Toji [a bit late falling in line with Kensuke]: "Congratulations!"

Misato [smiling]: "Thank you."

Kensuke and Toji: "You're most welcome!"

Shinji [confused]: "Uh, what's up? Did something happen to Misato?"

Kensuke: "Don't you see her collar tab? The number of lines increased to two. That means that she's been promoted from captain to major."

Asuka [poking her head out of the doorway as she towels off her hair]: "Really? I didn't notice that."

Shinji: "Yeah, I wonder when..."

Toji [shaking his head]: "Are ya serious? You guys are pathetic!"

Misato: "Now, Toji, really, it's-"

Kensuke: "Don't you two have any compassion? You know, it's a tough job for someone so young to foster two junior high kids!"

Toji: "We're the only ones who've got any human compassion." [He then blinked as something occurred to him.] "Hey, Miss Misato? It just hit me-when you're not commanding them in battle, whaddya do all day at NERV?"

Misato [with a shrug]: "Honestly? Not that much."

Asuka [skeptical]: "Uh-huh."

Shinji: "Well, wait, doesn't that new promotion mean a lot more work?"

Misato [nodding]: "Yeah, but that's when I officially start as a major. Right now, I'm just sitting around pretending that I'm busy."

Kensuke [both eyebrows up in slight surprise]: "How do you pull that off?"

Misato: "I always look annoyed. You see, when you look annoyed all the time, people think that you're busy. Think about it..."

Misato then demonstrated such behavior by shaking her head resignedly, followed by a few exasperated sighs as she slightly pinched the bridge of her nose.

Asuka [nodding affirmatively]: "Oh yeah, you do!" [Looks towards the guys.] "She looks very busy!"

Shinji [getting it]: "Yeah, you do look busy! Yeah!"

Misato: "See? I know what I'm doin'. In fact, Lt. Ibuki even gave me one of those little stress-reliever dolls." [Turns to head out the door, having slipped her shoes on and gotten her umbrella.] "All righty then, off to work."

With that, she opened the door and proceeded to head out, getting in a little more practice at looking annoyed as she did.

END Part 20.

**Author's Note(s)**

The gag this time comes in the form of a bit from the Seinfeld episode "The Hot Tub" being inserted into the first quarter of EVA's 12th episode. If there's anyone in EVA's cast who probably would've taken a valuable George Costanza-brand life skill to heart, it'd probably be Misato.