Adam's Rib

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Fanfiction
Title: Adam's Rib
Author(s): Agnes Joseph
Date(s): 2000 or before
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Quantum Leap/Highlander
External Links: Adam's Rib

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Adam's Rib is a slash Quantum Leap/Highlander crossover by Agnes Joseph.

In it, Sam Beckett leaps into Duncan MacLeod.

Author's Notes

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story began with a suggestion from my dear friend Lisa Martin when I complained that I was so smitten with Methos that I couldn't write any Quantum Leap stories anymore. So why not a crossover? I started thinking about it and this is the result.

This story first appeared in the Quantum Leap fanzine "The Angel and the Dreamer 3" published by Vision Quest Press and was nominated for a Stiffie Fanfiction award for Best Quantum Leap Novella. Didn't win, but in the great tradition of awards, it was a great honour to be nominated!

Reactions and Reviews

I admit, I have a weakness for crossovers. I know they're not everybody's cup of tea, but I absolutely adore the well-written ones. (But for some reason, badly-written ones are doubly painful to read.) As a crossover, "Adam's Rib" works extremely well. Quantum Leap is inherently easy to cross with other shows, by its very nature, but this story seems to go beyond that. The author has a great deal of fun introducing Sam and Al to the concept of immortals, and many of the more lighthearted moments come from playing up the differences between the QL and the Highlander universes. But the heart of this story lies the the similarities between the characters. Sam and Methos are as different as night and day, but they both know about being cast adrift in time. Time is their greatest enemy and their dearest friend; they are both simultaneously trapped by it and free from it. And Al and Duncan, for all their seemingly different personalities, are both men of honor living in a world that doesn't follow or understand their code. And they both love deeply, unconditionally, and without reservation. These similarities shimmer against a rich tapestry of difference, and, in the end, they're what made the story work for me.[1]
The thing that I loved about Quantum Leap was the demi-mystery of each episode: why had Sam leaped into this particular person at this point in time. What I loved. too, was how that premise made this series a better choice for a crossover. Sam wouldn't know anything about the universe he was jumping into, so time could be spent explaining the 'new' universe; this story has a lot of that at the beginning, which is understandable both from the series perspective, and from the fact that this story was originally published in a QL zine.

On a technical level, I thought that the exclamation points were overused, and I'm not a real fan of the boyscout or bright boy lines, but they weren't big enough problems to make me stop reading. <g> The text was a bit dry and devoid of description; sometimes things seemed to happen in white rooms (which in QL, they actually did on occasion.) POV was established by heading each section with the name of the character whose POV we were in; not the neatest of solutions, I grant you, but a workable one. On a characterization level: this Duncan isn't exactly my Duncan, nor Sam my Sam, or Al my Al, or Methos my Methos -- but there is enough of a glimmer of who each of them is for me to go along with the characterizations, and let the flaws roll off me while I read. Although there were points where I hesitated, I wasn't ever thrown completely off-track. The story itself is pretty plot-driven gen -- for the slashers, I think we get a couple of kisses and a dream-ish sex scene. Which was fine for me, as I was primarily interested in the mystery plot. I thought that the primary relationship plot was really Sam/Al, but even though there isn't that much Methos/Duncan interaction here, there are some lovely referential bits, good solid relationship moments, even though both guys aren't on-stage at the same time. There was a decent attempt to draw parallels between Al and Duncan that I really appreciated, as well as the more typical nod to Duncan and Sam both being boy scouts; I could see strong reasons why the author wanted to do the crossover, and I was pretty happy about that.

All in all, I liked the story. It could be that my main reason for liking it was that I was a gen QL fan <g>, but I think that it's understandable even without knowing that universe. It's not perfect, but I thought it a good read.[2]
The story was okay, it held my interest despite my not caring much for QL but it suffered from the Mary Sueish style of writing. I mean, Sam leaps, is in a strange body, a strange situation, and the first thing he does is check out how sexy Methos is? i don't think so - just because we, the female viewer may do so, it doesn't mean someone actually in the scene would do. but it is something mary Sues do to each other and have done to them all the time.

The shifting POV didn't work for me either - this is definitely one story which could have done with sticking to Sam's POV. The Everyone is Gay aspect of it didn't help, and Methos' sudden desire to give his quickening to Mac seemed awfully contrived.

But it didn't completely suck, and these days I wonder if that's all we readers can expect.[3]
There were a couple of other things that I wanted to bring up in reference to this story, one of them being the use of the word 'lover'. In the 'A' plot, the fact that Duncan and Methos are lovers doesn't really seem all that important; you could have replaced the word with the term 'friend' and the story would have felt pretty close to the same; that's why I said that the main mystery plot was fairly gen.

Yet if you took out the fact that Duncan and Methos were lovers, it would have completely screwed up the 'B' plot, the Sam/Al relationship plot. When Sam leaped, he turned his memories into swiss cheese; he has big holes in what he remembers about who he is. And in the S/A plot, one of the things he has forgotten was that he and Al were lovers. So the D/M relationship is used to make Sam remember that, and without that, the storyline would fall apart. I kind of appreciated the complexity there, even though that meant a lot more of the word 'lover' than I usually like.

The other thing that I appreciated here was that the main focus of the story *wasn't* a CAH/REV/TMP 'fit-it', or an Archangel 'fix-it', but an outgrowth of the events in MG. I admit that I was a little disappointed at the end when CAH/REV did show up, but since that was often the format of a QL episode -- they'd work the entire ep on the 'main' problem, but there would be one tiny niggling thing that had to be fixed after that for Sam to leap back out again -- that I accepted it. I don't think it weakend the story to have it there, but it did make me want to anchor the story more firmly into the HL series, since she was going to use that. Before then, I was perfectly happy to have the story sorta 'unattached' from HL events.[4]
I can see Mac and Methos as lovers but can't quite buy into the Sam and Al. In the show, there wasn't much to work with besides the looks-Sam and Al simply couldn't touch. The only thing I found dissatisfying about this, and more so for its' sequel, was the fact that it was written primarily for the QL universe and the story line just happened to cross over with the HL universe. Personally, I would have been much happier and think it would have been that much better with a HL centric fiction.[5]

Sam leaps into Duncan MacLeod. A QL/HL crossover. R.

Well, so much for the "updating every few weeks" concept. But fear not, gentle readers, your archivist is still alive and has finally decided to update the Recs section! I've picked "Adam's Rib" for today. I admit, I have a weakness for crossovers. I know they're not everybody's cup of tea, but I absolutely adore the well-written ones. (But for some reason, badly-written ones are doubly painful to read.) As a crossover, "Adam's Rib" works extremely well. Quantum Leap is inherently easy to cross with other shows, by its very nature, but this story seems to go beyond that. The author has a great deal of fun introducing Sam and Al to the concept of immortals, and many of the more lighthearted moments come from playing up the differences between the QL and the Highlander universes. But the heart of this story lies the the similarities between the characters. Sam and Methos are as different as night and day, but they both know about being cast adrift in time. Time is their greatest enemy and their dearest friend; they are both simultaneously trapped by it and free from it. And Al and Duncan, for all their seemingly different personalities, are both men of honor living in a world that doesn't follow or understand their code. And they both love deeply, unconditionally, and without reservation. These similarities shimmer against a rich tapestry of difference, and, in the end, they're what made the story work for me.[6]

References

  1. ^ Quantum Leap Slash Archive (December 2000)
  2. ^ comment by Rachael Sabotini at Adam's Rib, November 2001
  3. ^ comment by Tritorella at Adam's Rib, November 2001
  4. ^ comment by Rachael Sabotini at Adam's Rib, November 2001
  5. ^ comment by Stacie at Adam's Rib, November 2001
  6. ^ Quantum Leap Slash Archive (December 13, 2000)