A/N: A random thing that popped into my head while finally reading through the manga. In Chapter 15 when poor Ukita is the only one left at HQ to answer phones while everyone else is with L, he receives one from just some random, everyday Jane/Joe on the street who's convinced they're Kira. It got me thinking about the effect Kira had on the world in Death Note, not just the obvious ones that involve major characters or the big, generalized ones that blanket the faceless mobs of people in the background. The small things that might not even stem directly from there being a 'god of justice' killing the wicked, and which, on the grand scale might be insignificant, but on a personal scale are huge.

This is obviously not the most subtle of the 'little effects' of Kira I was thinking of, but I liked the concept. So I wrote it. And now I inflict it on anyone willing to read it. ;3

Oh, and as a head-up, so no one gets mad at me for 'tricking' them into reading this… there are no established DN characters in here. It's about random effects, so it stars a random character. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Death Note and related characters © Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

Autophobia

Raven Ehtar

Autophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of loneliness, of being alone; or an irrational fear of oneself, intense self-fear that is groundless.

Turn on the TV. Go on, turn it on. You know you will eventually. You'll have to know, have to see what it is that you've done, how far you've gone… How many people you've killed.

No! Don't turn it on! If you turn it on, then you'll see them. You'll see them and you'll know them. You'll hear about what they've done, the monstrosities they've committed. You'll feel the disgust, the loathing and anger. You'll see, know, feel, and then… then they'll die.

Kazuo Hatori, a businessman of middle rank in Greater Tokyo and a reliable employee of his company, sat huddled on the floor of his tiny apartment kitchenette and shivered. It was an undignified, humiliating spectacle should any of his colleagues see him, but there was no danger of that, and he had long since given up caring about such things. He had ceased to care what anyone might think or say after about the first week of not bathing, and he had long since broken that record.

The radio, then? There was bound to be some sort of news he wanted to know, what he needed to know.

The motion to rise was aborted before it was started. No, it was still too dangerous. He couldn't have any information at his disposal that might lead to yet another death.

From his place on the floor, Hatori looked around his once pristine apartment. Normally he was a man who leaned toward Spartan habits; looking around now, you would never know it. Papers, books, clothing, dishes, empty carry-out boxes… every available surface was littered with the detritus of his life. Heaps of discarded rubbish gathered in corners, it was a rarity to actually see the floor. The shame and despondency brought simply by looking at it all was only surpassed by the smell. Amid the clutter and garbage there were also leftovers, which had begun to decompose. The pungent aroma, mixed with the odor of sweat and filth of his own unwashed body was enough to make Hatori feel ill. Though, living in the center of it all, his nose had all but numbed to the pervading stink.

Of course, the condition of his dwelling was only a reflection of his own. It was his own state of mind and body, enlarged and projected where all could see it plainly.

Kazuo Hatori was a neat man; neat, quiet, and somewhat nervous, but dependable. What sat huddled in the far corner of the kitchenette, shuddering and occasionally muttering to himself unintelligibly, was hard to resolve with that once clean-cut businessman. His hair, oily and lank, hung into his eyes and past his ears, at least two visits to the barber missed. His skin was sallow and sick looking, hanging off of Hatori's bones in unhealthy sags. He had lost a great deal of weight in the past weeks, and it showed. A once filled out frame was thin, barely strong enough to support his weight if he stood. His face was unshaven, his nails long with dirt and grime packed beneath them.

Perhaps most telling were his eyes. Deeply sunken into his skull and surrounded by dark rings, the chocolate browns were over-bright, wide and staring, with a tendency to dart from side to side, or to stare into space for hours at a time.

The phone rang in the next room, and Hatori jerked upright, scrabbling backwards on palms and heels, practically climbing up onto the counter behind him. He stared out into the living room as though expecting an attack, his eyes so wide they threatened to fall out of his face.

It might have been the office calling, to demand where he was or to inform him of his inevitable dismissal. It might have been his sister, asking why he'd missed his seven year old nephew's birthday. It might have been the landlord, inquiring where the month's rent was. It might have been any number of people, but someone would be on the line. For a moment, on the third ring, Hatori wavered. It had been so long since he had heard a friendly voice, just someone saying his name…

No! Don't answer, don't even think of who might be on the other end! No more, no more, no more!

The phone stopped ringing, and Hatori sank back into a bony heap.

Kazuo Hatori had been a recluse all his life. He didn't attend functions unless they were required, didn't go to parties, and the only dates he had ever gone on were set up by mutual friends. A month and a half ago, he had started to spiral inwards, becoming less and less sociable until he arrived where he was now. He didn't go out at all; not to work, to visit family, not even to shop for food. For awhile he ordered his meals in to avoid crossing his own threshold. That sufficed until he no longer felt that speaking to people over the phone was safe. It had been over a week since he had last eaten. He couldn't go out, he couldn't use the phone, and the television was only used when the need to know what was going on in the outside world became a compulsion. Any sort of human contact, no matter how slight, was an unnecessary risk not to himself, but to the people around him.

Because he was Kira.

It was only logical; Kira killed criminals, and Hatori had always felt that some people just deserved to die. When L the detective had made his appearance and challenged Kira, Hatori had wished him dead, and L's proxy, Lind L. Taylor, had died right on camera. L had discovered Kira to be in the Kanto region of Japan, which included Greater Tokyo, where Hatori lived and worked. It had made sense even then that Hatori might be Kira, acting semi-unknowingly, and the rumor that Kira's ability to kill might stem from some sort of paranormal talent like ESP only made it more likely.

While the victims of Kira continued to be criminals, the scummy scrapings of humanity, Hatori was fine. Only a vague sense of unease ever troubled him. The wicked were being punished, no one could ever catch him, and everything was fine.

And then those FBI agents had all died, a victim of Kira.

The FBI had obviously been working on the Kira case, attempting to catch the elusive killer, and they had all been killed themselves. They'd done nothing wrong, but they had been put down just like any criminal.

It frightened Hatori. It made him think that whatever power he was using wasn't fully under his control. He didn't want the FBI or the police executed, so why had they died? It raised uncomfortable questions.

If agents could be targeted by his erratic power, then who else could? People he not only felt should die, but maybe people who angered him, who stood in his way to a promotion at work, or who just annoyed or irritated him? What if it spiraled so far out of control that all it took was for Hatori to see someone for them to die next, or to just think about them, without any provocation at all?

How did you stop a thought?

It was why he couldn't go outside, why he couldn't go to work or to the market or to his sister's, why he couldn't answer the phone or listen to the radio or watch TV. He couldn't trust himself, that he wouldn't somehow be the death of everyone around him, like some kind of one-man plague.

Running shaking hands through his hair, Hatori was only mildly surprised when more than a dozen hairs came away in his hand.

He didn't want to live like this anymore. He wanted his old life back, without the constant fear, the weight of guilt, the psychological stench of death. Except he knew that was impossible. Every time he dared watch the news, the latest Kira killings were always there. The deaths went on, and Hatori had no idea how to make it stop.

An idea bloomed slowly in Hatori's sluggish mind, a way to escape the hell he'd fallen into; a fitting way. Mustering what focus remained to him, Hatori tried to use the power of Kira to end his own life. He told himself that he was the worst killer in the history of mankind, aimed all his frustration and self-loathing inward, imagined what it would feel like to have a heart attack… all to no avail.

He felt cheated. So many dead that he did not consciously wish for, but when it was himself, the power deserted him.

Well… there was more than one way… there were more primitive ways to achieve the release he craved.

Gathering himself, Hatori struggled to his feet and stumbled to his washroom. The sight of his own ravaged face and body in the mirror only made him feel more ill. Ignoring the sight as best he could, he pulled open the medicine cabinet and found his straight razor. The edge gleamed back at him, cruel and sharp.

He was weak, but it wouldn't take much to sever an artery. As the mirror drifted shut he could see one, pulsing irregularly just below the skin at his throat. One quick slice, and it would all end.

Placing the razor to his skin, Kazuo Hatori smiled.

This was one death he could control.

A/N2: I don't know why a lot of my things end up centering around suffering, violence, and/or blood… but I'll go with it. :3