GaaLee is the term used to refer to the romantic relationship between Gaara and Rock Lee.
During the preliminaries, Lee was matched against Gaara. Despite Lee managing to land a couple of hits on Gaara, the match ended with the latter winning.
Gaara also inflicted serious injuries on Lee which almost ended his career as a shinobi.
Sasuke Retrieval Mission
Lee followed the Sasuke Retrieval Squad to provide assistance after his surgery and took Naruto's place to fight against Kimimaro.
He was completely outmatched by the latter until he drank sake (which he mistook for as his medicine) and unleashed the Drunken Fist. When he sobered up from his drunken state and was not able to use Drunken Fist anymore, Gaara saved him before Kimimaro could land one of his attacks on him.
Lee was in awe of Gaara's abilities and also revealed that he did not hold any grudges against him.
- 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. 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. He seems to hold a lot of respect for Gaara's abilities, which he mentioned several times during their fight against Kimimaro.
- 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. In Shippuden episode 260, Gaara is seen supporting Lee as they walk back to the village after the fight.
- 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), 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.