Set in a Lighter and Softer post-Samaritan universe, the stories generally involve Team Machine working the numbers while Root and Shaw's relationship becomes increasingly domestic.
The series currently consists of two parts:
- 12 Days, published a chapter a day during the 12 days leading up to Christmas (2015). Every chapter is titled after the 12 days of Christmas note , but Christmas doesn't actually feature anywhere in the story.
- 13 Nights, published a chapter a night (mostly) during the 13 nights leading up to Halloween (2016). Every chapter is titled after horror movies note . This time around, a few of the chapters are in fact set on or around Halloween.
Holi-daze provides examples of:
- Alternate Continuity: Samaritan is destroyed in the opening chapters of 12 Days and nobody dies in the process. From then on, it's back to working the numbers as usual. (The series was originally a Continuation of season 4, the first part being released during the show's hiatus. It was rendered an AU by the events of season 5. note )
- Because You Can Cope: The fact that Shaw, a sociopath, would be better able to cope with Root's death than Root would be able to cope with Shaw's is one of the arguments Root uses in "Laying" to justify throwing herself in the path of a car to save Shaw. Shaw isn't having it.Root: Dont you see? You wouldnt be crippled by the loss, the grief. You are so strong, Sam. Unlike me you could go on.Shaw: Just because I can doesnt mean Id want to.
- Cat Up a Tree: Shaw finds a black kitten in a tree in the chapter "In a Tree". Root and Shaw adopt him. Shaw names him Beretta after nixing Root's suggestion of Schrödinger.
- Christmas Episode: Not actually the case with 12 Days, except in a meta sense. The story was published in December and each chapter is named after the 12 days of Christmas, but the holiday itself isn't so much as mentioned in the story proper. As the author herself puts it, "this isnt a Christmas fic, but there is a sort of round about Christmassy theme."
- Continuity Nod
- Fusco and Root share a rowboat while working a mission in "Swan". Shaw remembers the time she and Reese did the same and reflects that Root, unlike Reese, would probably let her row.
- Don't Ask: After Root displays knowledge of where the bathroom is in Shaw's mother's house despite not having set foot in it before:Shaw's mother: How did she?
Shaw: There are some questions you just dont ask about Root, Maman.
- Embarrassing Old Photo: One of little Shaw in pigtails wearing a pink dress.
- Fix Fic: Invoked in-universe when Root becomes majorly pissed after a television show abruptly kills off the badass lesbian who was its best character. Shaw posits that the Machine could simulate a different ending to the story for her.Root: Are you suggesting I ask God to write fan fiction for me?
Shaw: Why am I not surprised that you know that term?
- Flowery Insults: Root has some great ones at Reese's expense.Finch: It is clear the universe is testing me by placing the two of you together.
Root: Awe, Harry, you love us. Your life would be so boring if it were only you and Lurch around. And just what would become of you when the day comes that he finally finds his beanstalk and climbs home again?
- The Food Poisoning Incident: Fusco spends the entirety of "Swan" vomiting over the side of a boat. According to the Machine, it isn't seasickness to blame but the taco truck he had for lunch.
- Forgotten Anniversary: "French" has Root pestering Shaw about it being their "anniversary" while Shaw doesn't have any idea what Root is talking about. It transpires that it's October 29, the anniversary of their first mission together. Shaw remembers the date of that mission perfectly well - she just didn't remember what the current date was. A year later, in "House On Haunted Hill", Shaw buys a house for her and Root on October 29 - only for Root not to realize what day it is. note .
- Halloween Episode: The chapters "Scream", "Sleepy Hallow", and "Halloween" in 13 Nights. On a meta level, 13 Nights as a whole.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter of 12 Days is named after the 12 days of Christmas, in order. 13 Nights has every chapter named after a horror movie.
- In Medias Res: "Laying" begins with Root waking up in a hospital bed. We're then informed as to why she's in a hospital bed (she was hit by a car) before proceeding onward. An inversion of the usual use of in medias res in that it's used to avoid starting the story with an action scene; the author declared elsewhere that "the biff, bang, pow stuff" wasn't her strong suit.
- In-Series Nickname: Reese's nickname of "Lurch" from the show is reified in "Halloween" when he's made to dress up as the character for a costume party.
- Instant Expert: Root reveals in "French" that she learned French in a matter of days for her Veronique Chéreau alias (aka French Mary Poppins Barbie). She uses her knowledge solely for ordering food and enticing Shaw.
- Interspecies Friendship: The Machine and Bear are established to be on good terms in "The Howling". An Odd Friendship, given that the Machine is an artificial superintelligence and Bear is a dog who doesn't understand what computers are, but the Machine talks to Bear and lets him know what's going on when all the humans are away, which Bear appreciates.
- Kids Are Cruel / Teens Are Monsters: Root hints in "Scream" that she was ostracized by the other youths in Bishop for being "weird."Root tried not to frown as she looked away. That tiny move made Shaw want to hop a jet to Texas and punch a lot of somebodies. Mainly because of everything that little aside of Roots left unsaid. She took another drink. Kids could be such vicious little shits.
- Konami Code: Referenced by Root in "New Nightmare". Trapped in a simulation, she asks Shaw if reciting the code out loud will give her more ammunition. Shaw responds with a flat "No."
- Lighter and Softer: Samaritan is gone, Team Machine is back in business, and pretty much every story has a happy ending.
- Meet the In-Laws: Root meets Shaw's mother in "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle" when the latter's number comes up. Shaw doesn't find out about this until after the crisis has been resolved, by which point her mother is baking cookies and Root is going through old photo albums.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Shaw fires her gun at a pizza guy who ogles her, thinking to herself that "she was shorter than most people; how hard was it really to look at her eyes instead of her tits?" In her defense, she's only recently returned from her time with Samaritan and is still in recovery.
- The Nicknamer: Bear, as revealed by his thoughts in "The Howling." Shaw is "The Small One", Root is "The Lonely One", Beretta (their cat) is "The Tiny Fluffy One", Reese is "The Tall One", Finch is "The Clever One", the Machine is "The Metal One", and Fusco is "The Loud One".
- No Name Given: Shaw's mother. Shaw just calls her "Maman" (Persian for "Mom"). Root calls her Maman as well, with her and Shaw's permission.
- Team Machine is compared (on a person by person basis) to the Ninja Turtles in 12 Days and Mystery, Inc. in 13 Nights.
- 13 Nights is chock-full of horror movie references, beginning with the chapter titles themselves. But the winner for "most blatant allusion" is probably Meyers Carpenter, the name of the POI in the chapter "Halloween."
- Something Completely Different: "Calling" in 12 Days is from the Machine's point of view. "The Howling" in 13 Nights is from Bear's point of view.
- Take That!: "Misery" concerns a doped-up Root planning to get revenge against a "television writer, producer and all around misogynistic ass hat" who unceremoniously killed off the lesbian star character of his TV show. (Thanks to Shaw's intervention, No Celebrities Were Harmed.)
- Whole Episode Flashback: Aside from a short introduction, "Misery" from 13 Nights takes place shortly after "Laying" from 12 Days.