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Hypnos doesn't even know why he's bothering to try, because he's never once won any sort of fight with Charon during their long existence and a staring contest isn't going to be the first one that he does. Which is why it comes to neither of their surprise when Hypnos caves almost immediately, throwing his hands up.

“All right, fine! I guess I'll do it, since you're just going to keep glaring at me until I go. ...Although, hmm, in that case, maybe I should stretch this out. It's been a while since you've spent any quality family time with me, Charon.”

Charon raises his oar to this remark, purple smoke billowing more intensely at Hypnos as he stares him down.

“I was joking! Yeesh, doesn't anyone around here have a sense of humour?”

The oar remains held up.

“I'm going, I'm going!”

With that, Hypnos disappears in a cloudy puff. He doesn't teleport nearly as much as Thanatos does, so once he appears on the surface, Hypnos rests against a fence, clutching his swirling head for a moment, as he composes himself. It would have been nice to have been blessed with the same ability that Thanatos has had since they were both created. But on the other hand, Hypnos has one skill that Thanatos doesn't and that's exactly the reason why Charon demanded that Hypnos do this instead of their brother.

Sorry Than, Hypnos loves you, but it says a lot when you're even lower on the social skills ladder than Charon is.

Thus, charismatic, and apparently charitable, Hypnos has lost the first day off he's had in what must've been three centuries to come up here and do this. Although, if this goes well, there might be more days off on the cards for Hypnos and both of his brothers. But that's probably just wishful thinking. Wouldn't be the first time.

Once Hypnos recovers, he moves away from the fence, actually needing to walk for a while as he gets his bearings. He isn't used to this. Ideally, he'll float everywhere, but perhaps it'd be better to not risk freaking out any passing mortals. Not that there seems to be any left that still have a pulse in this particular field. Hypnos steps his long legs over one body. Then another. He grimaces.

“You sure do like to bask in your work, huh?”

Hypnos looks up. He deems himself as being pretty tall (though that might just be because everyone looks tall next to Zagreus), but Lord Ares towers above even him, filled with smug self-satisfaction at the death that his war has wrought. This isn't going to be an easy conversation, is it? Oh boy.

There is a slight raise to Ares's eyebrow, since he probably wasn't expecting to see Hypnos of all gods, but beyond that, he doesn't look too surprised.

“Would that any of us be proud of our work, should we toil to achieve something so grand?” Ares replies, “But, do tell, to what end does Sleep Incarnate find himself on the field of battle? These fallen warriors are beyond the reach of your abilities now. It is Thanatos that they wait for.”

The honest answer of 'neither of my brothers want to deal with this and I got stuck doing it for them' isn't going to fly here, is it? So Hypnos decides to see how far he can push falling back on his charms, smiling widely as he gives his answer.

“The thing is, I come here not as the Sleep Guy, but as the Check-in Guy.” Hypnos pulls out his ledger, unfolding it and letting the parchment descend to the ground, where it keeps rolling and rolling and rolling, a long list of mortal names decorating it all the way down; “...This is just in the last month. Mortal time. That's a lotta names, y'know?”

Ares doesn't even look down at the list.

“Yes, the war has been fruitful.”

Fruitful, he says.

“Yeah, congrats on that. The thing about this fruitful war of yours is that it's running us all ragged. Thanatos, Charon, myself and I'd bet even Hermes, though he wouldn't say it to your face. Don't you think this is a bit... much? Kinda overkill?”

Hypnos gestures towards the corpses as he asks. From the unaltered expression of content on Ares's face, Hypnos doubts that he's going to appeal to him by making him feel any sympathy for the mortals.

“This is but the natural course,” Ares insists, “There is a war. The mortals shall partake in it until a victor has been determined. Would that there be many ways that they could do this, but in this instance, they have decided that wanton destruction is their preference. I shall not deter them.”

“Can't you whisper in their ears and make them do the war in a way where they aren't killing each other so much?” Hypnos asks, “At this rate, Than'll need more arms and more scythes to reap their souls, Charon will need a bigger boat and I'll need more parchment than there are trees on the surface.”

Ares regards Hypnos for a moment. In all honesty, Hypnos doesn't expect that his plea shall be heard. What reason could the God of War, a mighty Olympian, have to listen to the request of Sleep Incarnate? Even if that request comes from several other gods. Sure enough, when the silence is broken, the answer that Ares gives doesn't come as a surprise.

“By all means, I could go to such lengths. The art of warfare through words can be just as thrillingly complex as that of bloodshed. But, if you do not mind me asking, Sleep, what would I personally gain from bending to your whim?”

Bending to Hypnos's whim? That's certainly one way to put it. But despite being lazy and unmotivated, Hypnos also isn't one to be scared off the moment that something doesn't go his way. He does work right next to the desk of Lord Hades, after all. You have to be brave, stupid or too tired to care if you want to survive some of his bouts of anger. Hypnos tells himself that he's the last one.

“I mean, not to barter with you using my brother or anything, but he'd have a lot more free time if you stopped clogging up the works. And people talk, y'know? So, I know you've been looking. More free time means that he'd be more available if you wanted to make a move.”

Hypnos waggles his eyebrows in a way that he knows looks ridiculous.

“Nay, at this moment I am not invested in pursuing Thanatos.”

“Who said anything about Thanatos? I was talking about Charon.”

At that, Ares actually cracks an amused smile. Hypnos could almost be fool to believe that a chuckle escapes his lips, but everyone knows that Ares doesn't laugh.

“Hah! You certainly know how to jest.”

Sorry, Charon. At least you've still got Hermes's affections.

“Sooo... that's a no to extra free time meaning extra availability, then?”

At this, to Hypnos's great surprise, Ares walks over, placing a hand on Hypnos's shoulder and looking down at him with actual acknowledgement, which is more than Hypnos has achieved from him so far.

“You have entertained me, Sleep. It has been so long since anyone outside of Olympus has spoken back to me and used words of humour, not violence, to attest their case. Consider that I have been moved. As a favour to you, I shall see to it that I influence the right mortals so that the tide may shift away from the battlefield and into the realms of civilised discussion.”

Hypnos blinks. Then he blinks again.

“Wait... that easily?”

“As I said, you have amused me.”

Huh. Turns out that being the funny guy worked in Hypnos's favour for once. Usually he just annoys everyone.

“In that case, I'd better go tell my brothers that they can sleep well once the Styx dries up for a while. Maybe I'll even throw in a few good dreams while they're napping, if they're nice to me.”

“Perhaps, you could send a few pleasant dreams my way, while you're so motivated, Sleep.”

“I... what? I mean, yeah, sure. Anything you say!”

Did Lord Ares just invite Hypnos to invade his dreams? Nah, Hypnos must've imagined it. Being an amusing little god is one thing, but Hypnos doubts that he'd gain Ares's attention any other way. Surely not.

But before Hypnos can make to do another nauseating teleport back to the underworld, he finds that Ares takes his hand, holding it up and kissing it softly, before pulling back.

“I bid you farewell, Sleep Incarnate. May our paths cross again.”

Hypnos doesn't know what colour his face is, but he reckons that he'd be the one getting laughed at if anyone else could see right now.

“Wow! Uhh, yeah, goodbye then! Call me next time you're not busy warmongering...!”

Now, Hypnos does disappear in a flash, crashing back down onto Charon's boat with a flump. He can practically sense Charon raising his oar as soon as he arrives, then the questioning groan echoes around them. Hypnos rolls over, staring up at his brother in something of a daze.

“You're not gonna believe how well that went...”

Ares likes funny guys. Who knew?