ok i had a wild thought
what if lightning’s jab at hope about vanille isn’t random or a spur of the moment teasing, but instead, is based on events she had observed from valhalla while gazing across the timeline/s?
imagine if she saw what the yeul from 400 AF had seen. imagine if lightning had seen hope, an older lonelier and world weary hope, in his more vulnerable moments (whether she meant to or not) – and he was talking to vanille. perhaps when he visited or looked at coocon’s pillar, felt frustrated with his research (and society in gen.), remembered the “happier days,” or before a big event.
imagine if hope spoke/wrote to vanille as a means of coping in the face of everything, to cheer himself up, to reaffirm his motivations and goals, and to feel less lonely. imagine hope reminiscing about vanille’s smile and the words he said to her; imagine him laughing at her reaction all over again.
imagine if this happened across multiple timelines and lightning, despite being stripped of her emotions, recalled these memories during lightning returns.
imagine lightning being the first to say “congrats” and “so i was right” when hope and vanille finally get together. she’d probably be their biggest supporter among their friends and family, and aww isn’t that pleasant thought?