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.During Sasuke Retrieval arc, Lee fought Kimimaro and nearly got killed, wasn't for Gaara's intervention. Gaara told Lee that he was 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.
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.
- 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. In Shippuden episode 260, Gaara is seen supporting Lee as they walk back to the village after the fight.
Among the Fans
GaaLee is one of the more 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.