The lives of the herd members did not affect her own, not in the slightest. And the selfish little voice inside of her was screaming at her to save herself and follow the old witch to the fourth island. After all, what had she to live for? She had no family; her parents had run away the moment she learned to take her first step. And as for friends...
Was she really going to escape to a foreign island without him? After all, he was long gone, right? ...But he wandered these islands. So what if the chance of seeing him again were painstakingly low? It was a chance all the same. Leaving with Ba'Yagu reduced these already unlikely odds to zero, and Cybele wasn't sure she was ready to give up just yet.
And there was one more thing to consider. The young Arabian looked up; Kiro had left his post by her side, and was standing directly in front of her. Oh no. He was asking her a question, inquiring whether or not she was going to follow the witch to the new island. The question she was dreading. Something flickered in her gaze, and she hesitated, thinking. As his hoof dug into the earth, she inhaled softly, unable to read his expression as he looked away. It wasn't mere curiosity that had led him to ask her this question. But she could not be certain.
Before she could speak, he met her gaze once more. His expression confused her. It was a gentler one, one that she was unaccustomed to seeing. And it was then that he spoke, "Cybele. I'm not leaving here without you..." her mind went blank, her eyes cold, "...Even if it means the death of me..." The mare struggled to find a response, avoiding his gaze. She had been hoping to hear his decision before making her own. But as words rose to the stallion's throat, a sickening feeling rose in her own. Her choice affected his?
No. No no no no no no. Not this. She was frightened; she could hear her ears ringing. Never had she been given responsibility over another's life. Another's future. What if she made the wrong choice? Kiro likely had relatives, connections, something. She could not ask him to leave that behind. But if they stayed... it could mean the end of their lives.
She knew what she had to do. Her shoulders stiffened, and the mare forced herself to take a step away from him, "I'm sorry, Kiro." Her golden eyes were emotionless, a well-practiced icy expression settling on her slim features.
In a moment, she was gone. And in the next, so was he.
Although Cybele's heart was heavy, she knew that she'd done the right thing. It was easier for the both of them to be hurt now than farther down the road. Besides, everything was back to what it should be, and she would not have to face the horrific prospect of making a decision that could lead to Kiro's death. If she made a mistake now, nobody would suffer but herself. As she deserved.
Now that Kiro had left for good, the young mare dropped her act, her expression relaxing from one of cold indifference to her usual prideful air. With a barely noticeable sorrowful undertone. At last, she was at peace. "You should leave too," she sighed, dull golden eyes flicking up to meet pale blue.
As Q met her gaze, she realized that she wouldn't be getting rid of him as easily...