"The phone's ringing!" Rory shouted. No one heard him over the Muse song blasting from the stereo. The Doctor was under the console, tinkering with something. Amy had been playing a game with Rory, and the Doctor's favorite Muse album, Black Holes and Revelations had been playing in the background. They'd just left Barcelona, where the Doctor had been adopted by a dog with no nose and Rory designated as the pooper scooper.
"Does nobody-" Rory grabbed the phone. "Hello? No, this is Rory Pond- I mean, Williams. No, I'm a nurse. What? I'm not in hospital at work right now. Which doctor do you want- THE Doctor? Wait, you said your name was Grace? Hold on." Rory turned off the music and looked down at the Doctor's bandy legs sticking out from under the console. "It's for you," he said.
The Doctor slid out from his work, wearing his ridiculous work goggles. "Where'd the music go?" He asked.
"Rory turned it off so he could hear the phone," Amy said, gathering up the cards from their game of Cluedo.
"Well then, Rory, talk to whoever it is. Be our charming Rory," The Doctor said with a smile.
"She doesn't want to talk to me, she wants to talk to you." Rory handed the Doctor the phone.
"Hello?" The Doctor fiddled with the cord. "Yes this is- Grace! Doctor! Yes! It's been so long! Yes, too long! Oh yes, I've been traveling. Got some new friends with me, so I'm not alone. No, no, good. Good! So glad to hear that. What's going on, then?" The Doctor's face fell and drained of color. "That's not possible, Grace. There's just me left" He was quiet for a moment. "There was a war, after I met you. Gallifrey... the Time Lords... gone. Just two- the Master and I. Yes, him. He survived. No longer, though. Gone too."
Amy and Rory stared at each other, straining to follow the one-sided conversation. "Gallifrey?" Rory mouthed. Amy shrugged.
"No, that'd be fine! We'd love to. Be there in an hour." The Doctor seemed to be getting worried and excited at the same time. "Thank you for calling me, Grace. It's good to hear from you again. Thank you, Doctor."
"What was that about?" Rory asked as the Doctor hung the phone up and turned to face his friends.
"Oh, that? We're going to California! The Bay City! Home of the crookedest street in the world, that lovely show about the detective with all the phobias..." the Doctor was off, throwing switches and punching buttons on the console.
"So, who's Grace?" Amy asked, sliding up to the Doctor, blocking his work.
"An old friend of mine. You'll love her. Ginger, too. I wish I were ginger. She's a Doctor in San Francisco, and she has a very interesting case for us." The Doctor tried to edge Amy away, but the Scott wouldn't move.
"So a lady friend."
"Yes, a lady who was a friend."
"What I think Amy is saying is she didn't know about any other lady friends you've had in the past," Rory offered.
"Or future," Amy added.
"Especially when you consider that... Well, River is..." Rory began. Everyone in the TARDIS fell silent. For a second, the TARDIS herself seemed to go silent at the mention of her mistress. River, a slightly psychopathic time traveler, was the Doctor's wife and the daughter of Amy and Rory.
"On yes, I've had a lot of lady friends. I don't get on with queens very well, though. I've had lady friends, um
... gentlemen friends, I-don't-really-know-what friends. I knew a giant head once." The Doctor was rambling again. "Anyway, Grace and I met quite by accident..." as he spoke, he threw the lever to send them through the time vortex.
The TARDIS shook, sparks flying everywhere. The three travelers were jerked around, Rory losing his grip on the railing.
"I thought you repaired that mechanism thingy!" Amy shouted over the rumble of a very upset TARDIS.
"I did!" The Doctor replied, gripping the console and frantically attacking every switch he could reach. "It looks like the toaster just gave up!"
Rory steadied himself with the coat rack. "Somehow I don't think the toaster is all that important," he said.
"Oh Rory, practical as ever. Never underestimate the importance of a good toaster." As the Doctor spoke, the TARDIS settled down.
"I think we're in San Francisco," Amy called, peering out the door.
The Doctor turned to the scanner, which was showing an Indian head test pattern. "Sure?"
"It has the Golden Gate Bridge," Amy replied. "C'mon, let's go find Dr. Grace."