Gaara x Lee
|Pairing:||Gaara x Rock Lee|
|Alternative name(s):||GaaLee, LeeGaa|
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Gaara x Lee is a pairing in Naruto fandom. It is more commonly known by the monikers GaaLee (more popular since circa 2016) or LeeGaa (more popular in the early ship days). The ship name has occasionally caused controversy, due to the seme/uke method of ship naming, in which the first name in the pairing was considered the seme. Occasionally, the pairing is referred to as GaaLeeGaa or GLG (in keeping with the "SNS" name used for Sasuke x Naruto). Naming using the seme/uke convention has fallen out of fashion in recent years. GaaLee is now the more common name for the ship, but the order of names is usually not used to indicate who is the top.
Lee is matched against Gaara during the Chuunin preliminaries, and during this match, Lee is the first person to ever land a hit on Gaara. He manages to fight on even ground for a while, but is ultimately defeated and has his arm and leg shattered by Gaara in the process. This fight leaves a profound impact on Gaara, who attempts (but fails) to kill Lee in the hospital while he is recovering. Lee must undergo a dangerous surgery with only a 50% chance of success (51% in the anime), in order to remove fragments of bone from his spine, or else he will have to give up his dream of being a ninja. The surgery is ultimately a success, but Lee experiences a long and challenging recovery as a result of his injuries.
Later, during the Sasuke Retrieval arc, Gaara comes to Lee's rescue during his fight with Kimimaro. Here, Gaara shows genuine concern and guilt over his prior actions towards Lee. Lee says he doesn't hold a grudge against Gaara because his recovery from his injuries helped him become stronger. Gaara protects Lee using his sand throughout the fight when Lee is weakened. After the battle, they discuss the meaning of having someone to admire, even if the person is evil. Gaara refers to Gai-sensei as "meddlesome", which causes Lee to be affronted. Multiple flashback scenes include Gaara or Lee recalling Gaara carrying Lee back to Konoha with Lee's arm over Gaara's shoulder.
In the Kazekage Rescue arc, as well as in the 2nd Chuunin Exams and the Matsuri Rescue filler arcs, Lee and the rest of Team Guy come to Gaara's aid during various perils in Suna.
During the War arc, Gaara and Lee fight side-by-side during the battle with Madara, and Gaara carries Lee on his sand to escape the battlefield when it starts to be destroyed. They are also seen together as they wake up from the Infinite Tsukuyomi.
Finally, during the Perfect Day for a Wedding arc, episode 497 of Shippuden, Lee and Tenten serve as Gaara and Kankuro's escorts around Konoha in the lead-up to Naruto and Hinata's wedding. They have a deep conversation about the meaning of love and several more lighthearted scenes, including one where Lee points towards Gaara while blushing with sparkles coming from his eyes. Fans joked that the way Lee pointed looks like the American Sign Language sign for "I love you" (though this isn't the case in Japanese Sign Language). This episode has been the subject of much fic and art.
In the Naruto SD: Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals anime mini-series episode 20, Lee travels to Suna for a mission and nearly kisses Gaara, saying, "I thought he was going to steal my first kiss!" During a fight with a rogue ninja, Gaara accidentally injures Lee in a similar way to their first battle, for which Gaara apologizes. Gaara orders Lee to stand down, because he cannot fight while injured, but Lee insists on continuin to fight. They discuss their previous battle in the chuunin exams, and Lee states that he does not hate Gaara, but competes with him because he wants to prove himself. Ultimately, Lee is able to combine his taijutsu with Gaara's sand to create a sandstorm, defeating their enemies. At the end of the episode, Lee asks Gaara for a rematch, to which Gaara agrees. Lee then hugs Gaara while crying profusely, to which Gaara reacts with stiff awkwardness and discomfort due to his being unused to being touched, ultimately shoving Lee away with his sand.
In Naruto SD, episode 29, Gaara visits Konoha and Team Guy is assigned to greet him and show him hospitality. Lee sets up a day of kart racing and manga reading. Though the kart racing ends disastrously when Lee crashes, Gaara enjoys the manga. Tenten points out that they also need to offer Gaara a meal, and Gaara indicates he would like saury. There is a speculative scene (characteristic of the series) where Lee imagines Gaara as one of the girls in a co-ed party, wearing a purple dress and hair bows. This scene has additionally been the subject of a tremendous amount of art, a trope called "Gaako" (Gaara's name with the feminine Japanese suffix -ko). Ultimately, Team Guy cooks saury over a fire and Gaara says he enjoys it. When he departs Konoha, he thanks Team Guy for their hospitality and mentions that he enjoyed trying these new things.
In the Rock Lee Springtime of Youth Full Power Ninja Chronicles, the Tenten vs. Temari chapter, Lee prepares to challenge Gaara once more using a Front Lotus. He additionally challenges Gaara to a "cup size" competition, which involves Lee stuffing a bikini top with volleyballs and Gaara looking dejected. Gaara also appears in the final chapter of the manga, where he agrees to a rematch with Lee.
In Boruto, both Lee and Gaara are single fathers, with Gaara having adopted his son Shinki and Lee's son Metal having an unknown other parent. They are the only two characters from the original series who are single parents. Metal's eye shape is also noted to resemble Gaara's, and there are several scenes where he poses or is framed in ways that resemble Gaara's scenes from the original series. This has led to a great deal of fan speculation and headcanons regarding them being in a secret relationship, one of the two being transgender so they are both biological parents of Metal, or ultimately getting together to form a blended family.
Additional support from the pairing is supplied in the data books, where it's indicated that one of Lee's favorite words is 愛 (ai, meaning love), the same character that Gaara has scarred into his forehead. Also, Lee, who is unfailingly polite and speaks in a very formal tone, addresses Gaara using the more informal "Gaara-kun", rather than "Gaara-sama" or "Kazekage-sama", which would be more befitting of his title.
Given their history and mutual respect for one another, it is a popular ship for both characters. It is the ship with the most works involving either character on AO3.
GaaLee's history within the Naruto fandom is a strange and complicated one. More popular post-series than during the series' publication, GaaLee has seen many ups and downs over the last 18 years. In particular, the fandom's greatest challenge was... itself.
Despite the strong start within series for Gaara and Rock Lee, interest in the ship did not follow suit. Initially a small fandom, the first GaaLee fanfiction appears to have been posted to Fanfiction.Net in summer of 2004. However, it wasn't until Diplomatic Relations by Maladoror hit the scene over a year later in 2005 that the GaaLee fandom gained traction. Maladoror posted the infamous fic in September 2005, bringing about a sudden shift. With the advent of the first true long-form fanfiction, the pairing and the fandom community gained a vital and important piece of fan culture. Though GaaLee continued to remain tertiary within Naruto-focused fandom spaces, the impact this fic had on the culture, history, and future of the GaaLee fandom cannot be overlooked or understated. Diplomatic Relations vitalized the small fandom.
Following DR, Maladoror wrote several one shots and eventually followed DR up with the sequel, Kindred, in 2006. Because of DR's success and with the addition of more fan content, in typical fandom fashion, GaaLee had found it's first BNF (Big Name Fan). But, at this time, Maladoror was the lone BNF fanfic writer of the fandom and Diplomatic Relations the lone 'fandom classic'.
At the time of DR's success, there were few written fan works detailing stories about Gaara and Rock Lee falling in love. This spurred on the success and longstanding importance of Diplomatic Relations for over a decade. Every veteran GaaLee shipper had read the story (multiple times) and every newcomer to the ship was always advised to read it. Artists drew numerous pieces of inspired by the fic and if you posted in search of a something to read, someone was bound to ask "Have you read DR?" However, the positive impact was not the only thing to come out of this popularity. Behind the scenes, creative stagnation spread.
Instead of welcoming new ideas, new stories, and new perspectives, the common thread within the fandom became "There's nothing new to read, time to re-read Diplomatic Relations." Time and again, the refrain seemed to be "No one else's perspective will ever matter but this." With Diplomatic Relations placed so high on the fandom's pedestal, it had become untouchable and new fic writers were less and less encouraged to write through the constant refrain of "Time to re-read DR". After all, who could compete with the infamous fanfic?
While fanfiction writers couldn't find a place within the GaaLee fandom at this time, artists prospered. There was plenty of room for art to thrive despite the small size of the fandom, providing visual content where other forms were sorely lacking. Because of the insular nature of the fandom, very few mediums of content took off, and with no new canon content following the Rescue Gaara Arc, there was little to no renewed interest.
Thus art became GaaLee's main medium of fandom community expression and consumption, making deviantArt a haven for GaaLeeGaa shippers. While everyone was re-reading the lone fic of the fandom, fan artists created comics, doujinshi, and beautiful standalone pieces. Various art styles thrived within the community and artists were allowed a key place within the fandom, often providing the only new content for the pairing.
However, challenges for the ship remained.
Despite its small size and slow build to popularity, the GaaLee fandom is one with a deep and difficult history--a history rooted in the homophobic and misogynistic ideologies that permeated fandom culture from the early 2000s through the mid-2010s. Even in the fandom's modern era (2020s), one can still stumble upon these unfortunate ideas. The root of this conflict: the seme/uke debate. While not an uncommon argument in fandom spaces, the GaaLee fandom took this to extremes. Confrontation over the ship's naming convention reigned supreme, spurned on by the overly militant and homophobic adherence to the seme/uke archtypes. From outright banning people who shipped GaaLee over LeeGaa, to refusing content merely labeled GaaLee over LeeGaa, to creating a deviantArt badge asserting one naming convention's superiority over another, the fandom struggled to reach beyond those already invested in the ship.
The rift within the fandom had drawn clear lines in the sand between the militant LeeGaa shippers and the GaaLee shippers, turning one ship into two and dividing an already small and struggling fandom. With these out-dated and harmful ideas causing such tension within the fandom, its growth continued to suffer. Stagnation reigned supreme, even as some tried to promote discussion, create content, and form community.
The issues between these two subsets of the ship were most prominent between 2005 and 2014, stemming largely from deviantArt. Briefly, the conflict reached Tumblr in 2012, but was short-lived and eventually, as Tumblr became the dominant fandom platform, it became easier and easier to avoid as fandom social consciousness was also growing and the homophobic concepts of seme/uke were drawing more resistance. With less conflict and with more awareness, the fandom was finally allowed to grow, reaching new heights in 2017. However, reaching those heights required work.
In late 2010, a livejournal community cropped up with the sole purpose of creating the first GaaLee fandom event. The event was intended to be a winter exchange with the goal of creating shiny new content, but signups were nonexistent and the event was ultimately canceled due to a lack of participation. In the wake of the first ever event flopping, the GaaLee fandom felt, in a word, doomed to remain stagnant.
As 2010 ended, Tumblr was gaining popularity as the newest fandom webiste and in March of 2011 PureGaaLee, known at the time as UnfGaaLee, was created. This was the first GaaLee blog on the website and, though it started out small, it was a step towards creating community in a new, untouched space. The task was by now means easy. While Tumblr steadily grew, due to GaaLee's lack of popularity, the fandom did not immediately race to the new website. The insular and combative nature of the fandom meant that even on this new website, GaaLee fans were slow to trickle in and PGL was slow to grow its follower base.
During the transition from sites like LJ and dA to Tumblr, PureGaaLee sought to carve a space for the fandom where there had yet to be one with the grand goal of creating a safe, welcoming environment, with a zero tolerance policy for the homophobia that had run rampant through the fandom. Because of this outspoken position and unwillingness to allow for seme/uke content, PGL experienced minor backlash from stringent LeeGaa shippers, as it stood in vocal opposition to the homophobia that had dominated the fandom since its inception. Despite the outspoken insistence on adhering to LeeGaa, the LeeGaa subsection of the fandom did not make its mark on Tumblr in quite the same fashion and PGL has been able to maintain a largely conflict free existence (with a few exceptions), continuing to hold its values at the forefront of its participation in the GaaLee community.
While PGL was settling into Tumblr, the blog-runner ambitiously attempted to host a summer event in 2011, despite the newness of PGL itself. The event was cross-posted to the leegaa-exchange community on LJ and PGL, but despite two platforms worth of potential fan participation the event followed in the footsteps of the 2010 event. Following yet another failure, PGL did not attempt to host another event for six years.
In the early days of GaaLee Tumblr, the fandom was largely comprised of art, usually shared with credit by PGL, or else fandom discussions and headcanons. But this was not enough for a fandom to thrive, and between 2011 and 2017, things in the GaaLee fandom continued to stagnate, only ever experiencing minor increases in content. Art was produced more steadily, but fanfiction was still hard to come-by and compounding this was the shift from LJ to Ao3 and Tumblr. Tumblr being a largely image based website did not lend itself to fanfiction. Additionally, Ao3 requires invites from other users to join and, further hindering the fandom was the fact that FFN was largely defunct by then making fanfiction even rarer. One fan active in the fandom during the quiet years of GaaLee posted a personal note to their blog stating that the GaaLee tag on Ao3 only had one page worth of fics circa 2015. In 2012, PGL stated its follower count in a post calling for assistance in organizing the first GaaLee Ship Manifesto. The follower count? Sixty-two--thus highlighting the lack of fandom participation and potential for content.
The GaaLee Manifesto never made it off the ground.
During the tumultuous early years of GaaLee, the fandom not only struggled with in-fighting and creative stagnation, it also had to contend with detractors. Between 2004 through 2016, anti-GaaLeeGaa posts were often easier to come across than pro-GaaLeeGaa posts. At this time, there were large sections of the Naruto fandom convinced that GaaLee made little to no sense, that those who shipped them together were only desperate 'yaoi fangirls' grasping at straws, and often claimed that they shouldn't be shipped because of the infamous Gaara VS Rock Lee fight--a fantastically hypocritical take from a fandom built around a show in which every single person fights each other at one point or another. Other Gaara ships held more sway within fan circles, such as NaruGaa (once again, highlighting a double-standard within fan spaces), while Rock Lee was shipped to a lesser degree all around largely because of his appearance.
The fandom still had a long journey to travel.
In November 2014, with the end of Shippuden and the leaking of chapter 700, a ripple occurred in the Naruto fandom at large. Dissatisfaction with the cookie-cutter ending--which was often compared to the Harry Potter epilogue--ran rampant. Fans who'd been dedicated to Naruto for years were angry and disappointed at the unexpected turn of events. Outspoken LGBT+ fans on Tumblr created a movement called 'Real New Era', wherein they worked with the unsatisfactory final chapter to produce the sort of content they wanted. Though the 'Real New Era' movement was short lived, several GaaLee headcanons were created during this time. In many ways, GaaLee fans had been lucky--though Rock Lee had a son, he was not shown to be married and, indeed, later as Boruto began to air, Metal Lee's appearance to Gaara became rather hard to miss. Rather than hindering the fandom, the question of who Metal Lee's mother became something for GaaLee fans to work with. Rock Lee was a single dad or he was trans, and he and Gaara were in a long distance relationship. Shinki was also brought into the fold as Rock Lee's step-son. During this time period, an increasing number of writers began creating fanfic for the ship, among the most prolific of whom was thejammys on Ao3 (rockleepotato on Tumblr), whose work comprised a significant percentage of the works created during this era. Their lighthearted, yet canonverse style marked a departure from the previous heavier canon-centric works, and opened the door for a newer, more irreverent genre of fic that attracted new authors.
Thus, as the 'Real New Era' sputtered and died, the GaaLee fandom continued to solider on.
With the end of the series, a steady increase in the Naruto fandom's activty, and less conflict overall, the GaaLee fandom grew. It was not a sudden growth, and it did not lend itself to heavy increases in content production, but content was being churned out at a far steadier rate, making it easier for new fans to discover GaaLee. Over the years, various artists cropped up within the fandom, only to disappear not long after, leaving a hole in consistent artistry and fandom names. Likewise, fanfiction writers appeared and disappeared, not quite making marks on the fandom and further highlighting the fandom's growing need for content. Other forms of fandom content, such as fanmixes and edits, never proved popular within GaaLee unlike other fandoms. By the mid 2010s, there was a shift in fandom spaces overall as sites like 8tracks lost popularity. Tumblr's continued growth had changed fandoms all over, leaving the GaaLee fandom to rely heavily on the website.
Thus, in 2017, with its follower count rising, PureGaaLee decided to take another stab at hosting an official GaaLee event. First, PGL decided to host a GaaLee Week as a means to test the waters. As had become a staple of Tumblr, Fandom Week events were easy, low pressure events for anyone to participate in without the need to formally sign up or worry about deadlines. PGL took this opportunity to see if the fandom could finally succeed in mass participation and, though turnout was low, the first GaaLee event was finally a success in February of 2017. Immediately following the success of this event, PGL hosted the first large-scale event: GaaLee Summertime of Love.
The Summertime of Love event brought a much larger turnout and more content all at once than the fandom had yet to see. New and old fans showed up to take part, some of them choosing to remain active within the fandom and help it grow in both popularity and in content. After the summer event, the fandom was revitalized and this time it held more firm.
With less conflict occurring overall and more content being churned out, it was easier for new fans to discover GaaLee. And with this increase in popularity, it became the norm for events to be hosted. By March of 2018, PGL had finally reached 1,000 followers and a second GaaLee Week was under way. Unfortunately, a larger following did not lend itself to more participation and the second GaaLee Week had a lower turnout than anticipated, leading PGL to not host another event until the summer of 2019.
Prior to PGL's summer 2019 event, another, secret event was taking place. An unexpected rise in the number of GaaLee fics on Ao3 had begun to occur without rhyme or reason. Sometime in early 2019, a secret mission was launched within the GaaLee fandom with only one goal in mind: increase the number of GaaLee fics on Ao3 and beat out the competition. Between February and June, the GaaLee tag's numbers ticked ever higher, a determined faction fighting an unannounced battle against an unwitting and unprepared foe. Within the first 8 months of 2019 and prior to any official fandom events, the A03 GaaLee tag had grown by 41%, gaining 225 fics for a total of 550. The mission had been completed and the GaaLee Renaissance was underway.
Following this unexpected increase in written GaaLee content, the second large-scale GaaLee event took place. PGL hosted the event, Every Way I Could Love You, which was centered around AUs and common tropes. The event went off without a hitch. The fandom heard the call for new content and answered with enthusiasm.
2019, however, was not done building the GaaLee fandom. Not long after the 2019 summer event, the first holiday exchange took place, hosted on Tumblr and Twitter by one of the fandom's most prolific writer's a_gay_poster, who'd come out of the woodwork for the 2017 PGL summer event. (A_gay_poster made a name for themself quickly with their 2017 event piece, Hanakotba, and they continue to be an incredible pillar within the GaaLee community.)
Between these two big events and the earlier 41% increase in fanfiction on Ao3, 2019 ended with 250 total new GaaLee fics, making it the second highest year of growth for the pairing. With this sudden increase in content and participation, the GaaLee fandom had moved beyond much of its ancient history, proving that the fandom could be a creative, fun, and safe place.
The fandom continued to grow through 2020 and 2021, with GaaLee Bingo in 2020 hosted by a_gay_poster (now runner of the GaaLee-Events blog, or GLE) and the Halloween event in 2021 spearheaded by GLE and co-hosted with the help of PGL. GaaLee Bingo was, perhaps, one of the most successful events ever hosted, with a large turnout and an incredible rate of content production. The event boast a whooping 18 participants and 65 new works (art and fic), which was huge for the GaaLee fandom. The Halloween event was not far behind, bringing a grand total of 56 new fan works to the fandom.
But it was not until the end of 2021 that the GaaLee fandom would reach it's next milestone. In a rash decision, the two fandom event hosts, PGL and GLE, decided on an event like nothing they'd ever done before: The Naruto-Run to One-K.
The Naruto-Run to One-K was launched December 2021. The goal of the event? Reaching 1,000 fics in the GaaLee tag on Ao3 before the end of the year. This ambitious goal seemed impossible. At the time of the event's inception and launch--for the event went up within an hour of the decision to run it--the GaaLee tag was 33 fics shy of 1,000 and there were only 25 days left until the end of the year.
Yet what seemed an insurmountable task was accomplished with ease. By year's end, as 2021 turned into 2022, the GaaLee tag had not only reached the One-K event's goal of 1K works, it had surpassed it. As the event ended and the final tally run, the fandom had managed to produce 47 new fanfics within the 25 days. Starting the new year off, the GaaLee tag held 1,014 fics. A far cry from the measly one page worth of fanfiction it had held just seven years prior.
For the GaaLee fandom, 2021 exceeded expectations, proving to be the highest year of growth for the fandom and allowing 2022 to start off on an incredible note. Currently, the tag holds 1,043 fics on A03, the GaaLee tag on Tumblr is regularly updated with new content, PureGaaLee and GaaLee-Events continue to host events, and the fandom continues to shed the conflicts of old.
Common Tropes in Fanworks
Popular tropes have varied throughout the pairing's history.
In older fanworks (early 2000s to mid-2010s), common tropes included:
- Mafia AUs
- After the popularity of Diplomatic Relations by maldoror_chant, Lee as a diplomatic envoy to Suna
- Strong seme/uke or top/bottom dynamics
- High School AU, often with Gaara having injured Lee in a schoolyard fight or sporting event as an analogue to canon events
- Gaara not understanding what sex, love, or kissing is and needing a practical demonstration
- In fandom-typical fashion, ableism was rampant and often AUs featured Gaara having schizophrenia and being extremely violent as an analogue for Shukaku
In more recent fanworks, popular tropes include:
- Lee dropping the honorific and referring to Gaara by name only
- Gaara removing his sand armor for the first time or being touch-starved due to his sand armor
- Gaara only being able to fall asleep with Lee present
- Mental health-focused stories exploring both characters' anxiety, depression, or struggle with self-worth
- Canon-critical content
- Despite early years of fandom-typical biphobia, bisexuality has become the commonly accepted sexuality of Rock Lee
- Transgender and gender-expansive headcanons, particularly Lee being transgender
- Blended family or child-raising AUs, kidfic
- Diplomatic Relations by Maldoror, a longfic canon divergence AU where Lee is the diplomatic envoy to Suna
- Alliance by Luna_Lee, a longfic canon divergence AU covering the war arc and its aftermath
- Through The Spines Unfurling (Five Things You Should Know About Cacti) by mstigergun, a post-canon fic where Lee travels to Suna with his son
- Fools Rush In by whazzername, a Metal origins story and kidfic where Lee has a surrogate
- Vitality by ManaBanana, a college AU
- Sexy Flexing With An Eggplant by thejammys
- Creature Comforts by songs_of_the_moon
- Properties of Emergence by Myrddinembreis
- Worthwhile by LilacNoctua, a slow burn canonverse fic
- Hanakotoba by a_gay_poster, part one of a three part series called The Language of Flowers
- a distraction that escalates by a_gay_poster
- take my hand, wreck my plans by jessicamiriamdrew, a short piece dealing with OCD
- an eight-fold tempo, an eight-letter heart by solas_oiche
Currently, the most prolific writer in the GaaLee fandom is a_gay_poster with over 100 GaaLee fics.
Popular authors from the LiveJournal, YGallery, mediaminer, AdultFanfiction.net, and Fanfiction.net era include Maldoror, lucklessmallory, chinesefirethorn, boyue, imbrii, DarkJewel, Cgaussie, Lunaka, Gelfling8604, BananaBean, and tuesday. Much of their fic was lost in the deletion of YGallery, purged from fanfiction.net during the NC-17 purge, or lost/deleted from LiveJournal either due to purges, author deletions, or authors friendslocking their work.
- 22 Naruto: Lee/Gaara recs by krumgold-recs on Livejournal, 2008
- The Browed and The Browless Recs by lucklessmallory on Livejournal, 2011
- LeeGaa Fanfiction List by whitealmond on Livejournal, 2013
- Rec List Time! by doodlesandfood on Tumblr, 2013
- lucrecia was a LeeGaara artist active from 2004 to 2005 who drew in a classic manga style
- whitedog2 was a prolific chibi and comic artist for the pairing from 2006 to 2007, most notable for mpreg, seme/uke, and OC GaaLee children
- red_rahl created multiple GaaLee chibi comics and art between 2006 and 2007, as well as fully-rendered illustrations
- rhapsodii-kun was a LeeGaa artist active around 2007 to 2008 with a watercolor style of painting
- LunaLocatisLunatic was a GaaLee comic and illustration artist active from 2008 to 2010
- moo-feeler was a GaaLee artist active from 2011 to 2015
- bloatedcrayon was a LeeGaa artist active through 2015. They also ran the blog LeeGaa is Good For You
- rockgaara was a GaaLee artist active from 2016 to 2017 with a distinctive heavy lineart style
- igaigataro was active through 2017 and drew mostly sketches and comics in Japanese
- aloofwindbag drew multiple popular GaaLee comics in a loose style, including popular comics "they really let this kid run the place" and "What finally convinces Lee" (better known as the "Oh, you're crazy" comic)
- whatapanda was a GaaLee artist active through 2019 who draws in a comic style, notable for the GaaLee Family AU, where Gaara and Lee's children include all of Metal's and Shinki's teams. whatapanda is also an author, writing fic for the pairing primarily in Portuguese.
- crazytom666 created multiple fully rendered GaaLee illustrations, including character redesigns and a Hogwarts AU, and is responsible for one of the most popular GaaLee fanarts on Tumblr, with over 20,000 notes
- gluom created multiple sketchy, humorous GaaLee comics, including the original sand taxes comic
- fan-of-the-night created comics and illustrations for the pairing, including a modern AU
- flightlessdevotee created multiple fanarts for the pairing and illustrated multiple fics by LilacNoctua
- yazzdonut created many works for the pairing in the early 2010s and still creates fanworks for them on commission
- requirings (cytakigawa) is a comic, illustration, and NSFW artist
- Sodiiart is an illustrator of The Moss (co-created with m-jeevas) active on Twitter
- Br0cc0li_27 is an artist active on Twitter
- LaMonge is an artist active on Twitter who illustrates in an ink brush style
- artbyonion is an artist active on Twitter and Tumblr, who draws in a variety of styles
- GaaLee Animation by flakkers89 on YouTube
- Sand Box (flash animation) by OctoMantis on DeviantArt
- Gaara x Lee AMV (Untouchable) by TheONESassyLassy on YouTube
- ROCK LEE x GAARA // $UICIDEBOY$ x POUYA - SOUTH SIDE $UICIDE by yujinedits怠惰な on YouTube
- ROCK LEE VS GAARA AMV - BREAK SHIT by titanアンブレイカブル on YouTube
- ImaginEeri (Rock Lee) and OohDeary (Gaara) at Fanime2015 in San Jose, California, USA
- The first true meme of the fandom is the still often referenced "browed and browless", pointing out the humor and irony of Gaara having no eyebrows whatsoever and Rock Lee having incredibly thick ones. The origins of this meme are, unfortunately difficult to find, but it has been used as far back as 2004. The Livejournal community leegaara, which was created in December of 2004 has used "The Browed and Browless" as its community header since its inception.
- GaaLee Propaganda was a meme created by SageModeRockLee on Tumblr in 2015. Additionally, SageModeRock Lee is responsible for several meme recreations.
- Does Rock Lee sleep with the leg weights? was created by HiddenRamen on Tumblr
- GaaLee Fight to Toxic is a viral video on Tumblr
- A common joke among the fandom is referencing the GaaLee fight as their romantic origins. There are numerous jokes from the modern era of the fandom to the early days.
- A common joke among GaaLee fans is the 'GaaLee crumbs' from canon, which include images of them standing in proximity of each other due to the lack of canon interaction the pair have in the later portion of the series.
- An older, irrelevant 'in joke' within the fandom is the phrase "time to re-read Diplomatic Relations", in reference to the, now, former lack of fic content for the pairing from the early 2000s to the mid-2010s. As of the start of 2022, there are now over 1,000 fics on Ao3, making this comment not only untrue, but also disparaging of new fan content.
- Battle Couple edit created by SageModeRockLee
- GaaLee Playlist on Spotify
Archives and Communities
- leegaara at LiveJournal
- LeeGaara-Lovers-FC at DeviantArt
- PureGaaLee at Tumblr
- GaaLee-Events at Tumblr
- GaaLee Week 2017 (announcement), GaaLee Week 2017 banner, and all creations for that event on Tumblr
- GaaLee Summertime of Love Fest 2017 and all creations for that event on Tumblr
- GaaLee Week 2018 (announcement), GaaLee Week 2018 banner, and all creations for that event on Tumblr
- GaaLee Fest 2019: Every Way I Could Love You (announcement) and all creations for that event on Tumblr
- GaaLeeGaa Holiday Exchange 2019 on Tumblr and Twitter, Collection on Ao3
- GaaLee Bingo 2020 on Tumblr, Collection on Ao3
- GaaLee HalloWeek 2021 on Tumblr, Collection on Ao3
- Naruto Run to 1k 2021 on Tumblr, all creations for that event, and Collection on Ao3. The purpose of this event was to push the pairing to 1000+ fics on Ao3.
- GaaLee HorrorFest 2022 on Tumblr, Collection on Ao3
- WIP Your Heart Out 2023 on Tumblr, Collection on Ao3 (TBA)
Other Fannish Resources
- Gaara/Rock Lee tag at Archive of Our Own
- [Gaara, Lee R.] pairing filter at FanFiction.Net
- gaalee tag on Tumblr