AN: Hi and welcome, this is my second part of the story The Auction. Please read this first, for a better understanding to some of the characters and other background information.
I don't own Danny Phantom or Justice League/Young Justice or any other characters you might recognize.
Chapter 1: The proposition
Andrew was screwed, he just knew it. His life had come to an end and a pretty violent one, if the two bulky men holding him on the left and right by his arms was any indication to go by.
Neither of the two had less than 200 pounds of muscle, almost tearing the tight black suits they wore apart. Short hair, cut similar to the military, made Andrew believe that they both came from an army background. Their faces not showing any emotion, also added fuel to his suspicions that he was not the first one to receive this treatment and he was certainly wouldn't be the last.
Andrew himself was still dressed in the perfectly fitted suit he had put on the evening before, when fate was still in his favor. He had stood in front of a crowd of potential buyers for a unique object that promised to bring him a fortune. Then Batman appeared, jumping out of nowhere, taking that blasted thermos with him, right after he had scored with Lex Luther the best possible buyer, or at least the one with the deepest pockets.
Now with the thermos gone Andrew had not only made Mr. Luthor a very, very powerful man very, very angry. He had also lost any reputation he had acquired in the past. Well, possible that he had soon no more need for it anyway.
He swallowed hard, sending an anxious glance down the dimly lit corridor that his two companions forced him to walk down, although he was more dragged as actually allowed to walk by himself, his feet barely touching the ground.
On the narrow end he could barely see a door, their apparent goal. Hanging his head in defeat, Andrew accepted his fate. Oh he had tried to talk his way out, even put up a little fight (not that the two men had much trouble to restrain him anyway). However, they had not listened to his words but instead just seized him from his comfortable home. Forcing him now to walk towards a possible (and most likely) painful death, like a convict on his last walk on death row.
All too soon the hallway came to an end and they stood before a heavy door reinforced with thick metal straps.
Not waiting for any invitation goon number one pushed the door open and Andrew was guided by goon number two inside.
Behind a huge and very impressive wooden desk sat Mr. Luthor. The auctioneer had half expected to see the man one last time, just not in person, perhaps instead via video screen so that he could witness his demise. Andrew didn't know whether he should feel special that he may be killed by the billionaires hand or very unlucky to pay the price for the interrupted auction with his life.
"Mr. Nolan, how nice of you to join me" greeted the sleek business man his compelled guest. His voice sent shivers down Andrews's spine, and not of the good sort. He was led to the simple chair waiting empty before the desk. A heavy hand on his shoulder forced him to sit down.
The auctioneer straightened his posture, after the hand had released him of course. He wasn't raised as an idiot and his way with words might actually allow him to live through this, not that he was giving himself a good chance.
Brushing non-existent dirt from his suit arms he replied: "It's nice to be here, may I enquire how I have earned such an honour Mr. Luthor" feeling pleased with himself that he had managed to keep his voice from trembling.
Sending a subtitle and nervous glare through the room, Andrew had noticed that the two goons had both taken position next to the only visible entry into the room. The walls left and right from him were stylish decorated with well stocked bookshelves, paintings and other collectables.
One of the paintings actually sparked his interest. With his experienced eyes he realized right away what he was looking at. A real Picasso painting, and if his memory wasn't compromised by his current ordeal, this one had supposedly been destroyed in World War Two.
Prying his eyes from the historical find, he concentrated his focus back on the other business man in the room.
Meanwhile, Luthor had risen from the chair behind his desk and walked around the impressive piece of furniture, casually leaning his back against it until his hands were resting next to him.
"Ah well, Mr. Nolan, I think we both have unfinished business to attend to."
Andrew swallowed down a lump in his throat. His life was on the line, so he had to make it right. "I'm aware of that. How to you wish to proceed?" Anxious about the answer he glanced up, holding his voice steady enough that it almost sounded casual.
Luthor waved with his hand, giving the men behind him a signal. The small gesture made Andrew flinch, expecting a hit or something else, shattering the already unbelievable illusion of a calm facade.
A black briefcase was handed to Luthor, who acted as if he had not seen the reaction from the other man. He placed the briefcase on the desk, and snapped the two golden combination locks open.
Confused, Andrew tried to see what the case was holding. His first guess would be a weapon or something else the high-ranking man could use to inflict unbearable pain and in the end kill him. Stretching his neck as best he could without actually leaving the chair, he caught a glimpse of sparkling crystals. Perplexed he blinked and looked from the briefcase to his host.
Fully aware of the other man's reaction, Lex waited long enough to make his guest start fidgeting on the chair, before he turned the open briefcase so that the auctioneer could finally see its contents.
On a bed out of black velvet lay dozens of sparkling diamonds in different size, shape and cut.
"500 Million in diamonds, I thought gold would be a little bit heavy and I do remember that you preferred to receive your payment in cash and not transferred." chimed Luthor, displaying his best poker face smile that would charm anyone.
Andrew blinked twice, nevertheless not letting his eyes wander too far away from the fortune displayed before him. Greed flashed in his eyes and unintentionally he moved his hand to touch the answer to his dreams. The second he was close enough to almost lay a hand on it, the top of the briefcase was forcefully shut close.
Andrew flinched back violently, causing his chair scratch over the surface of the floor, producing a very unpleasant sound that hurt the ears.
"I ... I don't understand Mr. Luthor." He managed to stammer after Andrew had composed himself enough to speak again.
"Oh I'm sure with a little bit of thinking you can grasp what this means." Luthor once more leaned against the desk, standing tall and intimidating.
Analyzing the situation and thinking fast, trying to summarize what had happened Andrew soon came to a conclusion. He paled, causing an even harder contrast between his black hair and his dark suit.
"You want me to get it back." His voice barely audible faded in the room.
"Correct," Confirmed his host.
"From Batman?" Andrew asked, his voice shaking.
"I get the Thermos and the energy source inside and you will be rewarded with the arranged price. I think that's a fair deal and beside you already managed to obtain the Thermos once."
Andrew involuntary nodded: "Yes, from S.T.A.R. Laps New York, but getting it from Batman is impossible." shaking his head by the end of his sentence.
Luthor inspected his fingernails in boredom, not interested in the excuses the man before him stammered. "You can either acquire my Thermos or suffer the consequences of breaking a deal with me."
The two bulky bodyguard/goons stepped next to either side from the auctioneer, wordless promising pain and despair for him, should he chose the wrong answer to Mr. Luthor's words.
Andrew used all his mental strength he had left to stop himself from shaking, his foreboding confirmed. Death was lingering over his head waiting for him to make his choice, either die now violently with no option to escape or die an unknown death when he faced the dark crusader. Truth to be told, there was a slight chance to come out on top, but if Andrew was someone who gambled he would not even set a penny on himself to survive this. He was just a toy, a pawn in a play so much bigger than he ever anticipated.
Making up his mind, he forced down the lump in his throat, stood up and reached with his right hand towards his host. "I'll get your property back Mr. Luthor."
AN: This chapter is dedicated to one of my Beta readers: Anchanee. She is amazing and without her my stories wouldn't even be half as good as they may be :) Don't think I forgot you Talia Ahria, a big thanks goes to her too, as she has helped me with this chapter a lot!
So, no Danny in this chapter, and it's not very long, sorry about that ... Unfortunately I won't be able to have a regular update schedule, however I try to update once a month, but no promises. See my profile for more information on why I'm so slow and my other projects.
A small reminder, I'm not native English, therefore please should you find any grammar or spelling errors, let me know via PM and I'll try an change those as soon as possible. Reviews are more than welcome and should someone be able to help me with a cover picture I would be for ever grateful :)