He undoubtedly acknowledged her as an equal. Everyone could see that.
But there was one thought always stuck at the back of his mind… a thought that he would never voice to another person.
It was the thought that he indeed, recognised her as more powerful than he himself was.

That she could, without doubt, beat him to a bloody pulp if she wanted to.

But what he didn't know and what he couldn't answer himself, was why his stomach would get all jittery whenever he was in her presence.
Why his cheeks always heat up whenever she'd look at him even in the slightest. Why was it that he could recognise her familiar scent from afar?
And why was it that he'd always find himself staring back at her as she'd walk away from him.

Eren couldn't quite understand and comprehend his feelings.
All he knew for sure was that he wanted to reach out for Annie. To embrace her. To fulfil his desire to be close to her.
She always wore an angry or emotionless facade and he wanted to change that. Even if it was in the smallest way.

Yeah… maybe Eren Jaeger did like Annie Leonhardt. Just a tiny bit.

Inspiration/s - I was re-reading SNK and then realised that during Episode 4 of the anime, they skipped a whole scene between Eren and Annie.
That scene was actually kind of heartwarming since we got to see a nicer side of Annie... and I was quite mad that they didn't include it in the anime since it seemed kind of essential as well. This pairing needs a little more justice so I thought I'd do it some.

Notes - Hmm, I might actually turn this into a full-length fanfic. Who knows? The SNK fandom needs more fanfics and I just really, really like this pairing.
Especially how Annie has the potential to beat Eren's ass. I just thought he needed a reality check and she gave him just that.