Here I go again with my musing of how I “hope” Attack on Titan has hints of. Alas, it’s not exactly a “feel good” manga so I don’t imagine ever seeing a lot of scenes where you get mushy inside.
Here it goes:
After returning to the capital from rescuing Eren, Armin visits Annie almost daily and listens to Hanji and the other researchers go about their business with trying to get more information on her in her entomb state. Armin begins by helping out with the research, but as he stays late and is among the last to leave he finds himself talking to Annie. Months go by where he is sometimes found in the room where he is kept. He talks to her about his past, asking her questions about her own - though he knows she won’t reply, and asks her to come out and talk to everyone. He knows there is something deeper wrong and she’s a good person. One day, Hanji and her team go to the area where Annie is to find the crystal shattered, with Annie sitting on the floor, Armin’s head in her lap as he’s sleeping peacefully. They immediately move to restrain her but she gestures to keep quiet and let Armin rest or she’ll kill them all. Reluctantly, they withdraw.
Months go by, Annie is interrogated and subjected to experimentation, all the while Armin is at every event watching her. He lets his superiors do what is needed but when they start to mention experimenting on her using forms of torture, Armin steps in and assumes responsibility for her - which shocks everyone, especially Annie.
Day in and day out, Armin takes her to her hearings, sits close to her when Hanji runs tests, and enlists her in the Recon Corps so he can watch her when he is on missions. For obvious reasons, she is not trusted, nor well guarded on the missions beyond the walls. However, one mission where her and Armin engage in a fight on the outer left flank, Armin is grabbed by a titan and about to be eaten. Without hesitation, Annie bites herself and transforms, ripping the arm off of the other titan and killing it. She gently pry the fingers loose of Armin and places him hear her collar bone, covering him with her hand as she kills the rest of the titans and proceeds to run back towards the formation.
When they return to base, Annie realizes why she never killed Armin and proceeds to tell him - bluntly - she is in love with him and is going to protect him like he has her.
Time passes and it becomes glaringly apparent that Annie and Armin are together. However, Ervin and Levi can’t argue the fact that their recon missions have been more successful with less casualties utilizing both Eren and Annie’s Titan abilities.
One night after they make love, Annie confesses she’s worried one day that Armin will make a mistake on the battle field or she won’t be near him to protect him. Armin tells her that is a part of the risk and what he is willing to do in order to better humanity. It’s at that point she kisses him lightly and smiles at him.
"Come away with me, Armin…" she asks, in a voice barely above a whisper.
Armin’s face becomes slightly confused as he replies, “Where would we go, Annie…?”
"… to the world beyond the wall."