The cries of animals in the middle of the night were the only sounds in the darkness of the Hobart Zoo, in 1936, Tasmania. A random roar, here, a trumpet there, a bark every now and then. Someone would have noticed the odd noise and flashing light that occurred at the Thylacine pen, if there’d been anyone there. However, staff was minimal and the night staff was essentially nonexistent. The animals could fend for themselves for a few hours every night, after all. What was the worst that could happen?
The worst that could happen, of course, was a death. And no keeper had any idea that this would be the night they would lose the last Thylacine.
But a Time Lord knows.
The doors of the TARDIS opened slowly. Rose tried not to frighten the already panting animal lying in the corner of his cage. He was about the size of a fairly large dog, standing a little taller than her knees on all fours – but he wasn’t standing right now. She clucked her tongue softly as she walked toward the creature. Dark brown, intelligent eyes watched her in the light that came from within the blue box, and a stiff tail moved on the dusty ground behind him.
Rose knelt down and offered the strange marsupial her hand to stiff. Accustomed to humans at this point, and too weak to do anything about it if he weren’t, he gave her hand a cautious sniff, then a little lick. She settled down onto the hard-packed dirt beside the dying animal and gently pulled his upper body into her lap.
She spoke to him quietly, telling him of museums and exhibits and histories. Of how the human race would always remember him and how people for centuries would hold out hope that more of his kind would be found. She petted him, her whispered words and the sound of her strong human heartbeat soothed him. And it was in her arms that the last of his kind passed from the world.
It was the misunderstandings of humans that did the creature in. The previous days had been insanely hot, and there wasn’t enough cover in his enclosure. The official cause of death would be on the books as “exposure,” a fancy way of saying “we should’ve known better, but we didn’t.” And no one would ever know of the girl who held the last of a species as he faded from existence, or of the last of another species who witnessed the passing like a silent, lonely angel. No creature deserves to be truly alone.
The Doctor and Rose left the animal’s body there to be found by his keepers in the morning and returned to the TARDIS, they held each other. As the ship dematerialized, and they sat upon the jump seat together, in each other’s arms, the Time Lord rested his cheek against Rose’s soft hair and closed his eyes.
The last Time Lord wasn’t alone anymore. He had Rose Tyler. And as far as he was concerned, that was just brilliant.