Lix never meant to stay in this time so long. It’s not exactly the worst time period (she’s never going back to Julius Caesar ever again, even if she misses Cleo fiercely - there are some things that are not worth it) but she never thought she’d linger in it. And then somehow, somehow she did. There’s just something about being a journalist here. Something about the people she’s settled down and worked with (& even knowing what’s coming? It just makes her smile to think of - all the things these extraordinary humans are going to do). She never thought Randall would walk back into her life though.
He’s the only one who has ever known, who has ever guessed even part of the truth (she told him some of it, one night in a war that she sometimes wants to travel back to, despite everything - she can’t, she’s lost that time map). And Lix got attached to him. They argued about everything back then - politics (oh the vicious fights about politics and humanity), style and the news but he always respected her agency and abilities even when she was terrifying him. Randall terrified her actually. She terrified herself, looking back on it but then she’d come out of the absolutely fantastic mess that was Revolutionary France (another time she’s never ever ever going back to thank you) and she was a bitterly angry mess. She and Randall still had the best sex she’s ever ever had though.
(He trusted her with himself even then - he said later that she was the only one who’d ever been able to get his head to stop, even for a moment. Lix tells him (& it’s true) he’s the only man she wants to claim - wants to brand as hers for the world to see. She doesn’t tell him she’s had some filthy fantasies about parading him in public).
And then there are the others. Bel, darling Bel and her beautiful Freddie (Lix will argue this but there is a little of herself and Randall in them - at least in the way that Freddie is so obviously Bels’), Hector who she never thought to like and Marnie, darling Marnie who makes her think of a Queen with eyes like dark hooks who was kind, bright & had an unfaithful husband who deceived himself.
(Hector though, Hector does far far better).
She resents them a little sometimes - the way they’ve attached themselves to her heart. Them and Randall and Sophie. Bands around herself that tighten so much it makes Lix want to rip them out but she can’t, not now. So she stays and she resolves to keep them safe. To keep them all safe.
And that’s why she takes them with her - after everything. After she retrieves Freddie from where he was about to be beaten, after she picks up Marnie and Hector and grabs Bel and Randall from the studio. She picks the first map she finds. War of the Roses. The Closing Chapter. Technically it’s her next reporting assignment in so much as she has designated assignments these days - Lix is at the level where she can pick and choose from maps but it’s the one her bosses flagged as high priority so there’s a bonus there - they’ll want this report and forgive her dragging this many civilians through time because she is going to get an exclusive or ten.
Especially with this group of civilians because they aren’t civilians at all. And honestly there’s nowhere Lix would rather be than with these people.
There are things on the ship she can’t show them (yet) but it’s still a comfortable base to return to at the end of the day - Lix has given them all assignments and briefs because if there’s one thing she knows it’s that her people are all fantastic journalists and so it makes sense to send Marnie out to the royal court (Marnie fits in so well it makes Lix wonder for a moment but she puts it from her mind), Bel to the now dowager Queen of England (and oh there’s a story there - of careful and clever work). Freddie she sends to the will be King Henry and Hector to the Tower in search of the Princes That Were. Randall stays behind with her to pull it all together and he doesn’t ask the questions that must be there. He doesn’t even look like he wants to.
There is a reason, after all why Lix Storm loves him so much. He never even asked about her name.
(Lix Storm is as much her real name as the one she was given at birth. It might be more real, in fact. It’s the one she built for herself alone).
They find out several amazing things. Many amazing things (who knew for example that that was the solution to the Princes In The Tower Lix thinks - but she should be past being surprised by the reality of history by now) and some day later on they are all going to be lauded (well they already have been but it hasn’t happened yet - the joys of time travel) and Lix has discovered how much she loves dressing up (& with) Marnie and Bel. Especially in those corsets.
(She also discovers she loves the way Randall looks in breeches and that Freddie and Hector look incredible together but that is a story for an entirely different time).
So Lix Storm sails them back through to the world they had left. And she surprises herself by how much she wants to stay with them. She's not surprised that she loves them, oh no, she's stopped being surprised by that now - but she is surprised that the pull of staying is so so much greater than simply sailing through time.
And so Lix Storm throws down her anchor. At least for now, at least with these people she has found the home port and safe harbour that even a Storm needs and it is a good place to berth.