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Kanai Anzen

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Susan went to Japan once. Her high school has a reciprocal agreement with a school in Japan, and every year a handful of students from the one school spend a few weeks at the other and then vice versa. She brought back three gorgeous kimonos (one each for herself, her mother, and her girlfriend) and an omamori. Jake wanted to go, regrets not being able to afford to, but he'll never regret putting so much of his paycheck towards her plane tickets.

Kayla's still little, her fingers not quite sure what fine motor skills are. When she decided she wanted to make friendship bracelets, Jake helped her with the first one, gold over green, blue over gold, green over blue, and tied it around her wrist, loose enough she could slip it off at will. The first bracelet she did by herself was red and white and blue, the weave tight in some places and loose in others, and the day Jake left for boot camp, she wrapped it around his wrist and knotted it too tight. Jake waited till she couldn't see before working it loose and tying it around Susan's omamori. A government-issue bulletproof vest, the protection of kami, and his sisters' love; if that didn't keep him safe in the sandbox, nothing would.

Sam will rifle Jake's pockets and find a small cloth bag tied closed with two strings; one will be braided embroidery thread, red white and blue. He will open the bag and see a small wooden token, Japanese characters on both sides. He will know what the cloth and token are, that opening the amulet makes it useless. The braided string will mean nothing to him. He will put them back in Jake's pockets: wood and cloth will burn.