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The Couple

The Couple


GaaLee (ガーリー GaaLee) is the term used to refer to the romantic relationship between Gaara and Rock Lee.

Their Relationship

Part I

Chunin Exams

Gaara and Lee met during the Chuunin Exams, and later they fight in the preliminaries. During their fight, Lee used the Reverse Lotus (Ura Renge) in attempt to win the battle, but Gaara survived by turning his gourd to sand to cushion him. However, Lee's technique took a massive toll on his body. Gaara who lost his temper a bit during the battle, added to Lee's injury by crushing his left arm and leg. Due to those injuries the medics predicted that he would never be able to be shinobi again. Thanks to Tsunade he was able to recover and survive an 50% chance surgery.

Sasuke Recovery Mission

Gaara protecting Lee against Kimimaro's attacks.

During Sasuke Retrieval arc, Lee fought Kimimaro and nearly got killed, had it not been for Gaara's intervention.

Gaara told Lee that he had been faster and stronger the last time they fought, and Lee replied that thanks to Gaara he went through a lot trouble, although he didn't held a grudge against him. Lee still wanted to fight but Gaara stopped him telling Lee that he was still in no condition to fight.

During his fight against Kimimaro, Gaara used his sand to protect Lee too. Lee repeated expresses amazement at Gaara's skill and ingenuity with the sand, and after they are able to "defeat", or rather, outlast, Kimimaro, the two sit under a tree together and discuss the fight.

Gaara laments that had Kimimaro not suddenly died of his illness, both Gaara and Lee would have died. Lee argues that luck is another part of skill, so their victory is a legitimate one, advice he'd been given by Guy before. Gaara compares Lee's devotion to Guy to Kimimaro's devotion to Orochimaru, noting that while Lee's idol was indeed good and loving, that same kind of passionate devotion could be aimed towards a bad man, like it had been in Kimimaro's case. Lee wonders about the comparison.

After the battle, Gaara helps the injured Lee back to Konoha by draping each others arms over the other's shoulders and walking back leaning against each other for strength.

Part II

Kazakage Rescue Mission

There's not much interaction between Lee and Gaara in part II. During the Kazekage's Rescue arc, Lee, together with the rest of Team Gai, joined Team Kakashi in the mission to save the Kazekage Gaara that was kidnapped by the organization Akatsuki.

Birth of the Ten-Tails' Jinchuuriki

Lee is helping Guy and walking with Tenten when he suddenly notices Gaara's sand flying past them. He wonders what that could mean.

When Guy opens the Gate of Death and Kakashi explains that the move will kill Guy, Gaara recalls the time when Guy saved Lee from him during the chuunin exams. Gaara shows concern for Lee, since his beloved teacher was going to die, but Lee assured Gaara that he couldn't show pity for Guy because this was his teacher's choice and he was going to support it.

Minato asks Gaara and Lee to support each other while they assist Guy in his fight against Madara.

After the battle, Naruto saves Guy's life and leaves the injured Guy for Lee and Gaara to watch over. Gaara carries Guy safely away from the crossfire of the war.

Lee and Gaara are released from the genjutsu of the Infinite Tsukuyomi.

When Madara attempts to drop the massive earthen debris on the ground, Gaara asks Lee to leave there quickly, but later they both fell victim to the Infinite Tsukuyomi. 

Kaguya Otsutsuki Strikes

When Naruto and Sasuke release the Infinite Tsukuyomi, Gaara and Lee are freed from its binds and wake up together on either side of Guy.


  • Gaara saved Lee from Kimimaro's attack, and when he saw Lee's injuries he remembered how he attacked Lee during the semi-finals of the chuunin exams, and immediately decided to fight Kimimaro in Lee's place.[1] That can be a sign that Gaara felt guilty for what he did to Lee in the past.
  • Lee also revealed that he didn't hold a grudge against Gaara.[2] He seems to hold a lot of respect for Gaara's abilities, which he mentioned several times during their fight against Kimimaro.[3]
  • During their fight against Kimimaro, Gaara showed concern for Lee, using his sand to protect him from Kimimaro's attack and to carry him out of range.[4] In Shippuden episode 260, Gaara is seen supporting Lee as they walk back to the village after the fight.[5]
  • During the war, when Gaara learns that Guy will be opening the 8th gate, Gaara looks to Lee sympathetically, knowing how much Lee and Guy mean to each other.
  • While Gaara visits Konoha thinking what to give Naruto and Hinata for their wedding, Rock Lee helps him seeming very supportive on ideas with Kankuro and TenTen for the meantime.


Gaara rescues Rock Lee from Kimimaro - chapter 213

  • Gaara: "You're too hasty... When you fought me before... You had more speed and edge to your moves..."
  • Lee: *smiles* "...As if you had nothing to do with it. I'm not holding any grudges, but I've gone through quite a bit of hassle because of you."
  • Gaara: "...I see."
  • Lee: "But... why are you here?"
  • Gaara: "...I owe the Leaf Village a huge debt."

Gaara, noticing Lee's injuries - chapter 215

  • Gaara: "...I'll handle this."
  • Lee: "No! You can be the backup!"
  • *Lee runs out to fight, Gaara trips him with the sand*
  • Lee: "Please let go!!"
  • Gaara: "You can't do anything right now. I'll handle this."

Rock Lee to Gaara - chapter 217

  • "You... you saved me... You're amazing, to be able to do something like this!"

Gaara to Rock Lee - chapter 217

  • "You're the same then. When you feel the honor of your idol under scrutiny… you become enraged, as if it were your own honor being questioned. The more precious your idol is to you… the harder you fight for him."


  • While Rock Lee has notably large eyebrows, Gaara lacks eyebrows altogether.
  • Lee wants a rematch with Gaara.
  • One of Lee's favorite words is "Love" (愛, ai)[6], which is the exact same word Gaara has tattooed on his forehead.
  • Even though Gaara and Lee both have sons in Boruto, neither is officially in a relationship. Gaara's son Shinki is explicitly adopted, and Metal Lee's mother has never been mentioned or alluded to. Interestingly, Metal Lee's eyes are sharp with thick black outlines, more like Gaara's eyes than Lee's eyes.

Among the Fans

GaaLee is one of the most popular yaoi pairings involving Gaara, and the seemingly the most popular yaoi pairing involving Lee. Reasons for this may have something to do with their opposing personalities, the fact that both had friend-less, lonely childhoods, and how their friendship developed during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc and the fillers.

Their rival couples are GaaNaru, LeeTen, LeeSaku, and GaaMatsu.


  1. manga: chapter 212, 213, 215
  2. manga: chapter 213
  3. manga: chapter 213, 217
  4. manga: chapter 212, 213, 215, 216, 217
  5. anime: Shippuden episode 260
  6. Databook: 3rd databook