New York, New York
The article was in the obituaries that following Saturday. According to it, Willow Alyson Rosenberg had died from internal bleeding due to a stab wound in her lower abdomen. Hospital nurses had informed Buffy, who in turn, called all of the Scoobies to inform them of the tragic news. None of them knew the truth.
That was the part that bothered Willow the most about all of this. Not only would she have to give up everything about her previous lifestyle, including witchcraft, but she also was not allowed to tell anyone what had really happened. Her friends from Sunnydale, her parents- they would all think that she died. They could not claim the body though. As for anyone she met in New York, they would think whatever her background was. She did not understand it all yet. She was out of it in the hospital, and no one told her anything about it yet this day.
She was sitting in the back of an SUV. It would be driving her all the way up to San Francisco, where she would catch a plane to New York along with Agent Ericksen. She did not completely understand why she could not fly out of LAX, but Agent Ericksen claimed it was for security reasons. He had papers laid out in his lap and on the seat between him and Willow. The windows to the SUV were tainted.
"Can I ask a question?" she asked curiously as she peered over at some of the papers.
"Anything, Miss," Agent Ericksen responded. "The more you ask, the safer you will become."
"Just what exactly are you doing right now? Where will I be going, exactly?"
Agent Ericksen put the papers down and gave Willow his full attention. "Well, your new name is Lily Aldrin. When we arrive in New York, you'll have a new address in Queens under that name, a driver's license, social security number, bank accounts, everything." He sighed. "I pulled a favor with my brother. His name's Marshall. Basically, his friend Ted is having a party to try and meet the woman of his dreams. Marshall doesn't want to go alone since doing that will make him have to be a 'bro' with this other friend Barney. Here's where you come in.
"Lily is a couple years older than you are. She went to college with Marshall, and they fell in love. But Lily had a great teaching job in Trenton, New Jersey after graduation, so Lily and Marshall broke up. Now, Lily has a better job in the city, so she decided to look up Marshall. I know it sounds a bit strange, but we're going to have to integrate you somehow. You already have a job interview. Kindergarten teacher. What do you say?"
Willow smiled sheepishly. "Um, wouldn't Marshall's friends know that he never dated a girl named Lily?" she asked.
Agent Ericksen shook his head. "No," he confirmed. "I checked with my brother three times, Miss Rosenberg. No one would remember whether or not he dated a girl named Lily or any other name for that matter."
"So how will this work, exactly?" Willow asked. The whole thing still confused her. "Am I just supposed to show up at this party and be all 'I'm Marshall's girlfriend'. I doubt that will work."
Agent Ericksen shook his head. "My brother will be waiting for us when we land at JFK. I'll explain the logistics of what will happen. He already knows what can and cannot happen."
"And Buffy?" Willow asked. "Am I just supposed to forget about her?"
Agent Ericksen shook his head. "Of course you're not supposed to forget about her. She was your best friend, after all. But you cannot contact her. Everything from your previous life you have to ignore. It doesn't matter how much you want it. For now, you are Lily. You are to behave as Lily would."
"But I don't even know who Lily is!" Willow argued.
Agent Ericksen sighed again. "You will," he told her.