A/N: Can be a stand-alone from STARCROSSED, or a companion. Depends on what you've read or didn't read. Always wanted to do a Harvey-centered story. XD
Don't Touch Me
Summary: Rachel tells the audience why Harvey despises being touched. Learn the inner secrets of the McKenzie family.
My brother screams murder and I merely flinch. The only difference is that I eventually got over it, whereas he continues to have such an infliction run the course of his life...even to the point of his eventual early decommissioning from the Kids Next Door.
No one knows why he acts such a way, except for me. I doubt he knows as well, it being an integrated part of his life now.
Where to begin? It stems from the family, I suppose, or most likely from my mother's.
But let me tell you about my dad, who is the famous lawyer that was able to worm any crook out of a sentencing hearing. Kind of ironic, really. I represent the fairness of it all and my father goes the opposite.
Does that make him evil? I don't know. I never thought of him as rotten.
He's well integrated into the mob. I know, because I've seen seedy fellows come in and out of his office all the time when I was younger.
Slicked back dark hair, Armani suits and expensive Rolex watches they all wore. It was obvious to put two and two together.
Dad's a genius, I would always hear their haughty laughter afterward as those words were said. They paid him millions for the job he did. He was their ace in the hole, their get of jail free card.
He was respected among all crime families. We became part of their elite. Was it wrong? Maybe. He was a dirty dealer, but he loved me nearly to death. We always had Outdoor Fridays, where he'd take me out for extreme sports like rock climbing and even once, sky diving. We'd then go to a family-oriented diner and he'd let me pick out the biggest sundae on the menu.
Dad and I were always close. I was his first-born, his little angel. He taught me as much as I could possibly know about the legal system. He always explained it to me so simply.
Mom believed that he was grooming me to be as crooked as he was, but I didn't care. Dad knew that I would take the right way in life. He wasn't worried for me. He once said that I had his wit, which was sharper than struck diamond, elusive than shadows flickering in dark alleyways. I was his shining star, his brilliant prodigy of leading the world by storm.
There's more than just about him though. Let me tell you about my mom.
My mom...hmm. It's rather difficult to pinpoint who she was really. I barely saw her much in my life, only when she fought with dad and threatened to take me with her. It was always about money, always about the cash, the jewels, the estate.
Mom belonged to an old family of rich entrepreneurs, who kept a nationwide franchise of fur coat factories until PETA closed them down when my mom became a young woman. Being surrounded at beck and call with wealth and help throughout her whole life, the death of her family's fortune hit her hard. She couldn't survive without it, it was her bread and water.
She married my dad when he became widely successful, starting out a small business firm and attracting a lot of customers in need of his witty intellect. She smelled big money. She latched onto him like a snake onto it's victim.
They married soon after and drew up the alimony on their honeymoon. Romantic, huh?
Dad probably wanted her because he was the lonely type of man. Surrounded only by law textbooks and seedy individuals would do that to a man, isolate him from everything else. I guess he assumed that marrying her would relieve some of the emptiness he felt as a man.
He lavished her in riches, anything to have her content with her life with him. Sounds pathetic, but for me it sounded logical. He needed a wife, he needed a cover. Keep the feds off of him, probably, by insinuating that he was only a mere lawyer with a humble family.
Mom was always the materialistic woman. She'd go partying for days on end without warning, without a phone call, and come home days later, sloshed but content with her fast-paced life.
She continued having fun even after I was born. Dad, being too busy with work, enlisted in nannies and housekeepers to raise me.
I had no affinity to my mom...the only rare times I spent with her was the aftermath of another fight, where she'd grab me and try to stick me in the car, planning to drive back to her mother's while drunk.
I remember dad disabling the engine before she managed to turn the key.
Or the few times where she'd take me shopping down Beverly Hills, forcing me into lavish party dresses so she could show me off in her special parties. I was always fussy when it came to wearing dresses. She didn't like that.
"Just like your father," she would huff and sneer. "Never agreeing with me."
I almost found it a compliment.
But this wasn't about me. It is about Harvey. Why he acts like he does. Why he does what he does.
When Harvey was born, I was around four years old, excelling in private day care, more than ready to start kindergarten by next year.
Dad doted on me constantly, boasting of my soon-to-be achievements, my future.
Harvey...seemed almost caught by the last string by that time.
When mom discovered how much of an affinity my dad had in the influencing of my life, she panicked. If she could ever successfully hold her own in court if dad ever divorced her, she needed the leverage to win part of his estate. If custody were to commence over me, dad would easily win full custody and I wouldn't rebel. She needed someone on her side.
Unfortunately, Harvey was to be her secret weapon.
She doted on Harvey more than she ever did to me, indulging in every second of his life, deterring dad from ever knowing his only son on a personal level.
Mom's influence on Harvey would no doubt rub off of him negatively. Mom had few positive traits to go by. Harvey began having terrible temper tantrums when things didn't go his way and Mom spoiled him terribly.
Being the oldest sister, Harvey trailed behind me in an almost begrudging manner, respecting my ability to lead others and using that to obtain his own agenda. How could you talk back to the boy who's sister was the charismatic Rachel McKenzie?
I humbly concede that I was rather popular in private school by the time I was six and after obtaining a leadership position of a Sector in the Kids Next Door at the age of eight, no child stepped in the way of my brother. He would ride my coattails to justify the means and I let it happen.
He was my baby brother. I loved him even when it seemed otherwise. I tried to instill the manners of an elite into him just as dad did to me, but even then it proved fruitless.
Harvey was spoiled near to rotten and dad was not pleased by it.
The fights grew more heated between our parents. More so of Harvey's behavior than anything else. His temper has had him ejected from three private day care centers in the first few months alone. Dad wanted Harvey to be more like me and mom called him a shrew. She doesn't want Harvey to be corrupted like me.
The most notable occurrence that changed Harvey's attitude forever was when the fights got violent. Mom and dad's daily fight escalated when dad discovered hundreds of prescription medicines in her secret drawer and they fought. Dad didn't want his reputation ruined because his very own wife was a 'drugged up whore' and mom believed that dad cared more about his job than her.
She ran into the bathroom to induce more pills and dad grabbed at her arm, screaming at her. Not in front of the damn kids! He yelled angrily. She was in Harvey's bathroom shooting up.
Harvey woke up and threw a tantrum. I walked into the room to take him into my room until the fight died down. We were halfway out when mom wrenched herself away from dad's grip and threw her arm into the mirror screaming.
Don't touch me! Don't you ever touch me again!
Glass all over the place, I shoved a wailing Harvey in the room before he saw anymore blood and glass raining down his bathroom. He'd scream mom's words over and over every time I touched him.
He was only four.
Even when mom laid a hand on him, he screamed murder. Dad paid thousands of dollars for his therapy, but to no avail. Eventually, the psychiatrist considered Harvey's case a rare mental condition called Aphephobia, the fear of being touched.
Mom thought that the reason for the phobia was because of dad, believing that he touched Harvey inappropriately with which caused Harvey's condition. Dad was enraged at the accusation and a huge court battle ensued. Alimonies can be broken, was mom's favorite quote from then on.
I was forced to testify multiple times in court by the time I was ten. I was so busy between working as a KND operative and testifying for dad that I gave up my leadership position and reassigned myself into spy detail instead. Less work, more lies. I could deal with that.
Dad and mom divorced, but were forced to live under the same roof as they battled for the estate. Dad was given full custody of me after the accusation was considered dropped after reviewing Harvey's doctor.
Harvey was a different story. Mom wanted full custody of him, but dad refused to give his only son up to a 'delusional and mad woman'. Two years later, the fight still continued.
Who'd have thought that one fight would shatter a kid's own psyche for the rest of his life?
I'd tap him from time to time, still wondering if he'd react the same way as before. He does, sometimes worse than before. I had to use my power as the newly Supreme Leader to allow him entry into the KND, despite his affliction. I didn't find it quite fair to deny him membership for something he was never in control of.
He is still a brat. Spoiled, selfish and crude. But he was an effective leader. Like me. His sector had the most number of success rate in the KND. He was even granted in charge of the Delightful Children's birthday cake.
Despite the well-accumulated numbers, I knew it would be a matter of time before he'd face a judicial hearing about his behavior, especially after I left the KND due to an honorable decommission when I turned thirteen. He couldn't hide behind me forever.
He was dishonorably decommissioned a year after I left. Abigail Lincoln, my successor, deemed him unfit to work with the other operatives due to his phobia of being touched. It was a reasonable decision. It was an executive decision, one that should be applauded for her decisive thinking. Even I could be easily swayed, just like my father.
How's he doing now? I couldn't say. I only wish that he'd one day throw off the shackles of our parent's problems and start over anew.
They say he's a lost cause. I don't believe it. He's been sent to a private facility specializing in cases like him, so I haven't seen him in a while.
He'll grow out of it eventually. One day he'll wake up and look into a mirror, see the person he really is and change on his own. No one can force him except himself.
Until then, it's best not to touch him.