*Disclaimer: I own nada of Gainax, Khara, or 20th Century Fox/Disney/whoever owns The Simpsons these days.*

"Still can't believe you talked me into this," Ritsuko grumbled quietly as she and Misato got out of the latter's car and started walking towards the school's auditorium.

"Oh, buck up a little, Rits," Misato said. "The kids put up with the three hours you have them undergo testing, you might as well return the favor once in a while."

"I know, I know," Ritsuko said with a sigh. Misato had convinced her longtime friend and colleague to accompany her for a particular show the school was putting on. According to what details the kids would share with her, the drama teacher had come up with a showcase of short comedy sketches as an assignment for the class. Each group of three students would create and perform a sketch inspired by, of all things, internet memes. (Well, the memes that were within good taste, of course.) Ritsuko, after hearing about it, thought it was a very odd idea for a theme, but Misato had managed to get her to come along and see this for herself, especially since the one the kids had prepared was supposed to be a surprise.

The two NERV personnel managed to find some decent seats in the packed auditorium, just as the drama teacher came out to introduce the show. Taking a brief glance at the little 'playbill' she'd helped herself to in the lobby, Misato noted that Shinji, Rei and Asuka's sketch was going to be the fifth in the evening. She'd been really curious about what it was about, since she knew that the three of them A) had been practicing it in secret, b) Shinji, surprisingly, was directing it, and c) he and Asuka had worked together to coach Rei in acting. She and Ritsuko endured the sketches preceding the EVA pilots', with colorful topics like 'a Wikipedia page breaking due to one character's removal', 'Rickrolling', and a live-action 'rage comic', each of which elicited some laughs and chuckles among the audience.

Finally, after a giggle-worthy effort of a sketch based around 'Mr. Trololo', the drama teacher introduced the pilots' sketch, which she revealed to be based on a classic bit from The Simpsons that inspired dozens upon dozens of remakes, remixes, and parodies over the years. With the introduction out of the way, to the sound of applause the teacher walked off stage right as the lights fell, allowing the pilots to quickly set up their backdrop. When the lights came back up, Misato and Ritsuko were surprised to see the set resembled the former's own apartment. Asuka then walked out onto the stage, further surprising the NERV major with her costume.

Asuka's hair had been styled like Misato's own, and the redhead was wearing a version of Misato's favorite minidress (sized for a girl like herself) and a cross pendant much like the major's. Ritsuko bit her lip to barely stifle her giggling over how, were it not for Asuka's hair and eye color, she'd look like a dead-on mini-Misato.

Asuka was looking in a hallway mirror fixing her hair a bit when she heard the 'doorbell' ring, causing her to cease her last-minute prep and answer it. When she opened the door, it was Ritsuko's turn to be astonished and Misato's to chuckle heavily at her friend's expense.

Standing in the doorway, holding a wine bottle prop, was Rei, dressed exactly like Ritsuko. Rei capped off the look with a short blonde wig styled like the scientist's usual hairdo, and a little makeup gave her the trademark mole by her cheek. Ritsuko's eyes held wide and and her mouth hung open, while Misato covered her own mouth as she kept chuckling quietly. The two girls then began the sketch as the audience grew quieter.

Asuka [overly cheery]: "Heeeeyyyy, Ritsuko! You made it!"

Rei: "Good evening, Misato-despite your directions, I did indeed make it."

Both Misato and Ritsuko were stunned by how well the two girls were portraying them, especially in the case of Rei as Ritsuko.

Asuka [undaunted by Rei's tone]: "Well, come on in! Make yourself at home-hope you're ready for a dinner you'll never forget!"

Rei [raising an eyebrow]: "That remains to be seen."

As Rei took her seat at the table and stuck the wine bottle into the ice bucket (all while an incognito Shinji moved the door to a new position), Asuka then dashed into the 'kitchen', only to find 'smoke' coming out of the oven.

Asuka [letting out a horrified gasp]: "Holy crap! It's ruined!" [She then walked over and looked through the small window of the oven door.] "Dammit, the Katsuragi Katastrophic Kulinary Kurse strikes again!" [While she said that alliterative statement, Shinji (hiding behind the oven prop) held up a sign that spelled out all four of those words.]

Ritsuko covered her mouth as she let out a few soft laughs, much to Misato's chagrin. "She's got you there," the scientist whispered, to which Misato lightly elbowed her friend.

Asuka then shot a glance out the 'window' and noticed a burger joint across the street (or rather, a large photo of such held in the window frame by Shinji).

Asuka [holding her chin in contemplation, a smug grin appearing on her face]: "Hey now...what if I bought some fast food and passed it off as my own cooking? Heh-heh-heh, the Katsuragi Konvenient Kleverness Kuirk strikes again...!" [Shinji repeated his prior sign-holding action, though this time with a different quartet of words.]

Misato quietly groaned at that statement, her palm meeting her face lightly.

Just as Asuka began to climb through the window, Rei entered the kitchen.

Rei [surprised by the sight before her]: "Misato...?"

Asuka [startled, before miming the action of stretching her leg]: "Rits! I, uh, I was just, er, just doing a little stretching! Did quite a workout earlier, you see..."

Rei: "Misato, just why is there smoke coming out of your oven?"

Asuka [sheepish]: "Uh...Oh, that? It's not smoke, it's steam...from the steamed clams we're having!" [She then rubbed her own belly.] "Mmm-mmm, steamed clams..."

Rei, one skeptical eyebrow raised again, then left the kitchen, muttering to herself. Asuka then climbed out the window and ran stage left. She then returned through the kitchen door to the dining room with a platter of 'hamburgers and fries'.

"(Okay, I admit, that's something I might've done)," Misato admitted in a whisper with a slight roll of her eyes as she rested her hand on her chin.

Asuka: "Alllll-righty Rits, hope you're hankering for some mouth-watering burgers!"

Rei: "I thought you said we'd be having steamed clams."

Asuka [setting the platter down]: "Did I say that? Nononono, I said 'steamed hams'. It's what I call hamburgers!"

Rei [eyebrow raised]: "You call hamburgers 'steamed hams'?"

Misato got her own chuckles in, while Ritsuko did her own slight eye-roll over the raised eyebrows. "I do NOT raise my eyebrow like Spock," she quietly muttered.

Asuka [rubbing the back of her head absentmindedly]: "Yep! It's a...a bit of a regional dialect, y'know?"

Rei [pressing further]: "Is that right? What region?"

Asuka: "Ummm...Northern Kyoto?"

Rei: "Interesting-my family's from Kameoka and I've never heard anyone use the phrase 'steamed hams'."

Misato turned to Ritsuko, confusion on her face. "Your family's from Kyoto?" she asked in a whisper.

Asuka: "Riiiight, that's because it's not from Kameoka-it's an Ujitawara expression."

Rei: "So you say."

Rei then 'took a bite' out of a burger and 'chewed' a little, while Asuka did the same, before she then 'took a sip' of her drink. Asuka then followed it up with a near-perfect imitation of Misato's 'yee-hawing' following her first sip, the sight of which made Ritsuko clutch at her sides as she tried keeping another wave of laughter down while Misato sunk into her chair a little, cringing at the imitation.

Rei [eyeing her burger curiously]: "You know, Misato, these burgers appear to be quite similar to the ones they have at the McDonald's a few blocks away."

Asuka [emitting a nervous laugh]: "Pfff-hahahaha! Good one, Rits! Nope, these are guaranteed, patented Katsuragi Kreations." [A third sign popped up from Shinji while she said this.] "It's a 100% old family recipe!"

Rei [skeptical eyebrow raised yet again]: "For 'steamed hams'?"

Asuka [eagerly nodding]: "Yep!"

Rei [holding out an open burger to show the grilled side]: "I see. And you call them 'steamed hams', despite the fact they are obviously grilled."

Asuka [more nervous than before]: "Y-Uh...you know the...One thing I should...ummm...'Scuse me for one second, will ya?"

Rei: "Certainly."

Asuka then got up and briskly walked into the kitchen, inside which orange 'flames' could be glimpsed, and immediately came back into the dining room.

Asuka [faking a yawn while stretching her arms]: "*YAWN* Well, that was fun! Had a real good time-and boy, am I pooped."

Rei [briefly glancing at her watch as she stands]: "Yes, I should be-" [She then noticed the fire, making her eyes widen.] "WHAT in the world is happening in there?"

Asuka [nervous]: "Ah-um-uh-um-the Aurora Borealis?"

Both Misato and Ritsuko bit their respective lips as they held back more chuckles.

Rei [skepticism in overdrive]: "The Aurora Borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the world, in this specific part of the country, localized entirely within the confines of your kitchen?"

Asuka [cheerful]: "Yep!"

Rei [with a pause]: "...May I see it?"

Asuka [with a pause of her own]: "...Nope."

At that, the dams broke for Misato and Ritsuko, as they, along with a majority of the audience, burst into laughter over the great delivery of those two lines.

Rei and Asuka then exited the apartment, where 'smoke' (via a smoke machine) was seen pouring out the windows. Shinji then walked in from stage right.

Shinji: "I'm home!"

Asuka: "Shinji! Welcome home!"

Shinji [slightly waving to Rei]: "Dr. Akagi."

Rei [slightly waving back]: "Shinji."

Shinji then closed the door behind him as he walked into the apartment, followed vocally by the result of his meeting a startling sight.

Shinji [aghast]: "OH MY GOD! MISATO! Why's the apartment on fire?!"

Asuka [calling into the apartment]: "No fires here, Shinji! Nothing to worry about! It's just the Northern Lights!"

Rei: "Well, Misato, given how long we've been friends, I've always thought you were pretty odd. Still, I have to admit...you do steam a good ham."

Asuka: "Awww, thanks, Rits! We should do this again sometime-maybe (preferably) at your place?"

Rei [briefly raising her eyebrow yet again]: "...I'll think about it."

Rei then turned to leave, briefly turning back at the sound of Shinji's screams for help, only to be met with the sight of Asuka bearing an eager smile and two reassuring thumbs up.

Shinji [sounds of a fire extinguisher used by him being heard]: "Misato! Call the fire department, for God's sake!"

With that, the lights fell and the audience, Misato and Ritsuko included, stood up with much applause. The lights came back up briefly to show the three pilots taking their bows.

Later, after the remaining sketches had been done, Misato and Ritsuko met the pilots backstage, just as Rei had removed her wig. Misato immediately enveloped the three of them in a tight hug.

"You guys were so awesome up there!" she said with no small amount of praise.

"Th-thanks, Misato," Shinji wheezed, causing Misato to ease up on the hug.

"Congratulations on a well-done performance," Ritsuko offered. "I have to say, you certainly proved the old adage of 'imitation being the sincerest form of flattery' true."

"Thank you," Rei replied. "I am glad you were not offended by our respective portrayals."

"Authenticity was key, after all," Asuka chimed in with a smirk, before pointing to Shinji with his thumb. "And much as I don't want to admit it, the baka here was a good director."

Shinji blushed at the praise directed at him, though deep down, he really appreciated Asuka's words.

Misato nodded in turn. "You three deserve a little reward to celebrate. Dinner's on me!" She then began rubbing her hands together in anticipation of something. "Sooo, who's up for going out to get some 'steamed hams'...?" she asked with a wink.


**Author's Note(s)**
I know there's already a 'Steamed Hams, But it's
Evangelion Episode 26' on YouTube, but this is my own spin on this kind of mashup. So, did I steam a good ham or what?