Now, let me get something straight.
I don't much like Alternate Universe fan fiction -- at least not in *my* West Wing. (:-)
I'm not really much, either, for big long opuses that get so far off the usual track of the ficton that you can't follow them anymore unless you start at the beginning.
The last thing I don't like is long stories that ignore most of the characters in favor of whichever relationship the authors likes best. (A problem this one didn't, in fact, succumb to).
Those things said, Further to Fly, by Nomad, is one of the top 3 pieces of WW Fanfic I've ever read... and I have read *a lot*.
My ultimate compliment is "this is shootable"... and while Further doesn't quite stand up as a teleplay, it wasn't trying to, either. And as what it does, it is exceptional, really. Sorkin is quoted as saying that the priorities are 1) characterization, 2) dialogue, 3) plot... and Nomad (I wanted to use a personal pronoun here, but Nomad's website carefully doesn't disclose gender) has all three *down*.
[ update: no, maybe not so much. Nomad is apparently, as I had actually surmised, female. ]
I'm not surprised zie is about to become a published writer, and that zir publisher is very happy with what they've turned out so far. This story -- actually, these *8* stories (and I read *entirely* too fast) -- are *wonderful* stuff; picking up just the right amount of stuff that rewards regular viewers of the series, in at least one case, paying homage (so far as I can tell) to another very popular piece of fanfic I've read, and -- most importantly -- doing the thing that makes fanfic work:
putting the characters in *their* milieu while telling your stories. So many fanfic writers forget that much of the personality of the characters they have to write to comes from the way that those characters interact with their peers, cow-orkers, and environment, and, like fish out of water, those authors' writing tends to gasp and die.
Nomad doesn't have that problem -- all the locations are exactly the way you remember them, all the characterizations are damned near perfect (in almost 140 chapters, I've lifted my eyebrows... maybe 4 times)... and the dialogue?
I can only say one thing: please come over here to the US and get a job with John Wells Productions? Pretty please?
[ If nothing else, you can infer my reaction from the comparative length of this review. :-) ]