A freak accident during the Five Point seal of Orochimaru had an unexpected result. Instead of one Naruto there are now two; one male and one female. The girl was forced to change her name to Narumi. The boy remained as Naruto but something is off about him.
EdStargazer presents: Naruto: Split!
Gaara waited calmly but still looking bored as the Hokage emerged from the stairwell. The plan had gone well and now it would reach fruition.
"Daimyos, Citizens of Konoha and guest from all nations," Sarutobi spoke in a loud voice. "I present the winner of this Chunin Exams with the trophy and my personal congratulations on his fine performance today."
The aged leader stepped up to Gaara but the sand floor of the arena rose up around the Sandaime Hokage, surrounded and crushed him
The crowd gasped as the sand crushed their leader. Then without any warning, a large number of visitors began attacking the Konoha ninja and civilians in attendance. Dozens died in the first few moments. The training of the ninja kicked in after the first blows were struck and defense and counterattacks begin creating dozens of small battles in the bleachers. Even so, the Konoha ninja began to fall as many off duty ninja had little more than a kunai on their person. The crowd of friendly civilians prevented retaliation by jutsu.
The civilian populace pulled away from the fights when they could and some braver men would swarm the enemies near them if they could not. Some foes went down but took more than one person with them to their deaths. Then the attackers began to fire jutsu into the crowds,
Fire fanned out from the mouths of some while sonic attacks that would be now associated with the new Sound village took out great swaths of defenders and civilians alike. The sonic attacks were not as deadly as the fire ones but unconscious defenders were unable to aid in defending the village or themselves.
In the middle of this frantic battle was a trio of girls. Narumi, Sakura and Ino had been sitting with Sakura's parents and Shizune. Introductions had been made all around and they were having a good time watching the matches. The deaths bothered the girls but they did not really know the ninja involved that well. Tsunade had gone off drinking early in the day before trying to find a betting parlor. When the battle broke out, they had not been near any attackers and were able to get into a defensive position around Sakura's parents. Shizune immediately took charge of the makeshift squad and barked out orders to the girls.
"Narumi, send out shadow clones to defend whoever they can. Grab any weapons from the enemy and get them back to us. This is a death battle so do not hold back, do you understand?" she said to the redhead in a tone the girl had never heard before.
"Hai, sensei," Narumi said almost hesitantly but she formed the hand seal and with a burst of chakra smoke a wave of clones spread out to the nearby fights.
Shizune pulled several kunai out from a leg holster and handed one each to Sakura and Ino while Sakura's mom proceeded to start breaking the chair behind her to get some kind of weapon for herself and her husband.
Shouts from the nearby enemies came as they fell under the weight of a wave of redheaded girls. The cries were quickly silenced. Kunai holsters and fanny packs of weapons began to be tossed in the direction of the team. Narumi clones, Ino and Sakura caught what they could and began to assemble an inventory of what was there.
"Kunai, shuriken, coated senbon needles, smoke pellets, explosive tags of a type I don't recognize," called out Ino from one pack. Shizune reached over and took the senbon needles and looked them over quickly.
"Poison. Don't stick yourself, Ino," Shizune said as she took most of them. "Reload the packs in the standard manner for how Konoha uses them as but only with basic weapons and tags you can identify. Keep the senbon and anything you cannot identify with us here."
The girls sounded their understanding.
Narumi shuddered as the memories of dying often arrived from her clones. She just kept on sending out more to areas where previous ones had 'died'. The wave of clones pushed out of the section and into the one next to them simply swarming the enemies that attacked them and allowing other Konoha ninja to deal the death blows. Follow up clones would strip the dead and pass some of the weapons to chunin and passed the rest back toward her temporary teammates. Reloaded packs began to be passed forward to fighting Konoha forces who took them eagerly.
With more weapons available, the tide swiftly turned in that section of the arena, freeing up jonin and chunin to relieve other seating areas.
Shizune shouted out orders for the genin to give first aid to the wounded and call her for anyone in dire need of help. "For Kami's sake, make sure you stop them from bleeding out if nothing else!" she stressed. Dozens of Narumi clones set to work as Ino and Sakura struggled to keep up their task of reloading weapon packs. Sakura was surprised to notice her parents had begun to help with the reloads by sorting through the weapons and tags the girls could not identify.
On the floor of the arena, Gaara had chuckled when he had crushed the old Kage but he found the aged leader had been one step ahead of him. The sand dispersed to reveal a crushed lump of mud. Gaara growled out as he found he had been tricked. His less than rational mind looked around for the escaped prey.
The redhead boy was shocked when his sand reacted to block a staff of some kind from impacting his face. Even so, he was pushed backwards by the blow. The end of the staff retracted back toward the old Hokage in full battle armor from the previous war.
Gaara gestured and his sand rushed at the Hokage. The man went through hand signs faster than Gaara could follow and spat a wave of mud over his attack, stopping it and trapping the sand involved. The old man moved and Gaara lost track of his prey when his sand stopped another blow aimed at the back of his head. He spun to see the Hokage on one knee with his hands placed on the ground.
"Swamp of the Underworld," Sarutobi said in a quiet voice as the ground of the arena floor dropped into muck and water. Gaara stumbled down as his sand flowed underneath him to form a base for him to stand on just out of the mire. A large portion of his sand was now trapped or occupied.
Sarutobi rushed out across the swamp as if it were dry land to close in on the redheaded teen. The boy was shocked at how fast the man was moving and for the first time in his life, Gaara felt fear. He began to lash out his remaining sand at the Hokage but at each attack he had less left. He began to pull sand onto his body to use the chakra inside him of the one tailed Shukaku but he was blasted back off his perch by a blow from the old man's staff.
Gaara landed in the muck and began to sink. He began to panic as his sand would not support him. His sand armor shell was getting wet and weighing him down. His panic fueled his release of the bijuu chakra until a harder blow on the head stunned him. The boy felt something press against his forehead and he fell into darkness.
While the battle in the arena was being fought, explosions rocked various areas of the civilian parts of the village. Undercover agents had rigged bombs in apartment buildings, hotel rooms and public baths that were set off to tie up village resources and burden the defenders who would worry about their families.
Naruto looked up from the jutsu scroll he was reading when the blasts took place. He immediately began grabbing his weapons and getting ready to fight. Within minutes he heard fighting in the streets as the death screams of civilians began drawing closer. He looked out his window to see ninja wearing a Sand headband cut down a woman running away from him as a pair of Konoha chunin were under heavy attack and falling back as more civilians fled from the encroaching enemies.
'Kuso,' the blond boy though as he pulled explosive tags from his mission kit near the door. He worked as quickly as he could to attach them to kunai. Seconds ticked by as he worked and the sound of battle and death grew closer. When he had a half dozen ready he took three in each hand and went back to the window of his apartment. The battle had moved almost below his vantage point. He primed the first three tags in one hand with a burst of chakra and hurled them into the grouped enemy below.
Upon impact, the tags on the kunai detonated, killing the ninja they hit and disrupting the advance for a moment. The retreating chunin were able to gain some space as the next three tags hit enemies they had been fighting just seconds before. One chunin recognized that the throw must have happened as soon as they had begun to back off so the thrower must be above them. The enemy did as well.
Naruto retreated from his window and grabbed his mostly full mission pack and ran out the front door of his apartment as a retaliatory strike of explosions demolished his apartment in his wake. He ran down the hall to another window and jumped out of the building as an earth jutsu wrecked the structure behind him, collapsing it.
One of the retreating chunin caught him as Naruto fell out of control.
"Thanks for the save," the chunin said.
"Likewise," Naruto replied as he was set on the ground. He began to shoulder his pack when the Sand ninja began closing in on the new trio. The second chunin had been busy with his own tags as he had prepared several while fleeing. These were hurled into the oncoming enemy and took out several more. The fleeing civilians had cleared that section of the street as they headed for the nearest shelter.
The chunin introduced themselves as Izumo and Kotetsu and Naruto replied his name as one grabbed him and jumped up out of the way of another wave of explosions while the other dropped smoke pellets to cover their movements.
"Got anymore tags? We're out," Kotetsu asked as he set Naruto on his feet a block away.
"A few dozen," the blond replied as he pulled out more tags and kunai from his bag. The pair began to prepare the weapons for use while Izumo watched for enemy attacks. Naruto noted he was much slower and less efficient in his preparation than the experienced Kotetsu but he still did his best. The chunin also replenished his shuriken and spare fighting kunai from Naruto's bag while passing some to Izumo.
His efforts were halted when Izumo called out.
"Incoming. Naruto watch our backs. Escape route will be out five by me. Call out if anyone appears there."
"Ok," Naruto replied after a moment. The command meant they would flee if needed from the five o clock position based on the way Izumo was facing at the moment he ordered it.
For a moment, Naruto had felt slighted and used but the grunts of thanks from the pair reached his brain. He realized these two were not blowing him off and just raiding his supplies. They were treating him like any other Konoha genin who was sharing in battle.
Kunai were thrown and the trio fended off attackers for almost a minute before they began to be overrun and flanked.
"Enemies covering two, three and four by you, Izumo. Too many of them to stop," Naruto called out.
Kotetsu looked in the direction Naruto had called and nodded.
"Change exit to by seven from original point. Bug out," Kotetsu called to Izumo and Naruto as he threw smoke down around them.
The Leaf ninja fled from the more numerous Sand ninja once more.
In the arena, Sarutobi had restored the arena floor to normal and handed Gaara off to one of his jonin.
"Keep that seal on him at all times. He is a jinchuuriki and the seal is keeping his power contained," the Hokage ordered. The aged leader was glad that Jiraiya had left seals designed to subdue their own jinchuuriki.
The leader surveyed the area and saw the fighting in the arena had stopped with Konoha victorious. Few live prisoners had been taken and many Leaf ninja were looting the fallen for weapons. He smiled as he saw Shizune taking charge of medical efforts and the numerous Narumi clones helping. The Haruno family was passing out the weapons they had gathered to any friendly ninja who came by. Over in the competitor's box, the subdued older siblings of Gaara lay bound by the genin there.
Sarutobi nodded in pride at his ninja. It pained him to see the dead and wounded but Konoha would survive with ninja like this at his command. He looked for his bodyguards and gave orders.
"Send up the eagles. Stage 3 at once. Push these enemies out of our village. Accept surrenders but otherwise, no quarter. If they fight, they die," the Sandaime Hokage ordered.
Naruto looked at the empty pack and tossed it to one side. Three D rank missions worth of weapons gone in just a few minutes. Izumo and Kotetsu were in a similar state as they fought against too many enemies. They had dodged jutsu and explosives but they had run out of room and weapons to fight back with. They were trapped but they still stood up to their enemy.
The sound of the eagles calling out meant little to Naruto but the pair of chunin with him both chuckled wryly.
"We've been trying Hokage-sama," Izumo joked calling up at the nearest bird.
Kotetsu chuckled while Naruto was just confused.
"The bird call was to initiate Stage 3 of village defense; destroy the enemy and push them out of the village at all costs," Izumo informed the teen.
Naruto just nodded as it looked like this would be the end but fresh explosions sounded nearby. The closest Sand ninja kept attacking them but most had turned to their flank which was under heavy attack.
The Clans had entered the battle.
In different parts of the city, the push began. Sarutobi led the forces he had with him out of the arena. They left the genin and medics behind to deal with the wounded and dead but took every other able bodied person with them, including retired and reserve ninja. The Clans swept in from their compounds into the main Sand forces and pushed them back; in the process rescuing many solo and trapped Leaf forces along with Naruto and company. ANBU teams roamed the civilian areas taking out the scattered Sound ninja intent on causing havoc.
The Leaf forces that had fought the first twenty minutes of the battle had been hard pressed to slow the superior numbers of their enemies. They had paid in the hard coin of death but they had also bloodied it in the process. The Sand and Sound ninja expended much of their weaponry against the early defenders of the surprise attack and had yet to resupply. Given the few minutes time the deaths of the wall guard and city patrols had sacrificed to prepare, the fully armed, armored and massed ninja of the Konoha Clans pushed through their enemies and routed them. The body count rose on both sides but in the end, Konoha stood over the bloody battlefield; victorious.
Sarutobi Hiruzen looked at the casualty lists and the numbers pained him badly. So many people had died. Many more were wounded and would not be able to fight again. Thousands of ninja had died between the Leaf, Sand and Sound. But it was the hundreds of civilian deaths haunted him most badly. The innocent people who trusted him to keep them safe and he had failed them. Others could argue that he was not to blame but he was the Leader. Ultimately, all the blame falls on his shoulders just as all the accolades to the village do.
To make matters worse, Konoha now looked weak to the rest of the world. It had nearly fallen and still could if another major power attacked them. Rock was the most likely to fall on them but Cloud could as well. The minor war fought with Cloud after the Yondaime had died and the Hyuuga incident at the cease fire were still fresh wounds to both sides. Mist was still in the midst of a civil war so they were not likely to do anything.
Even the small villages of Rain and Grass could hurt them badly if they attacked Konoha jointly. The mighty walls of Konoha had been breached in several places and one of the gaping holes could be seen from his office window.
Sarutobi felt old at the moment. Retirement for a couple of years had been so nice before he had been forced to retake the position of Hokage. But of the few able to command the respect of the other nations, none were willing to take over. Jiraiya, Tsunade, Kakashi and perhaps Guy were all that could do so at this time and keep Konoha's reputation from slipping any further. Jiraiya was on his way back from his latest information gathering mission. He had left the day before the Attack and was likely kicking himself for missing it happening. Tsunade had weathered the initial battle three sheets to the wind in a bar when over twenty now dead ninja tried to interrupt her drinking. Kakashi was a burn out and Guy was ... Guy.
Morino Ibiki had the ability but not the clout as he had worked in the shadows running the intelligence unit. Nara Shikaku could lead as well but was not seen as a leader but rather a part of a greater team in the original Ino-Shika-Cho team.
Now, the summons from the Daimyo to make explanations he did not want to make came to mind. Danzo and his old teammates had been whispering in the ear of the ruler of the Land of Fire for years about how SArutobi was unfit to lead. He might be forced out of his position but he vowed that those three would precede him into 'retirement'. His recommendation would decide who would lead Konoha in the future.
Search and rescue was undertaken by nearly the whole village. All day and through the night and into the next day bodies were collected, identified and taken to a central location for burial. After being on the move and working since the fighting began the day before, Naruto was dismissed to get some rest and told to meet up with Kakashi for assignment the following day. He headed home and found his building completely demolished. He had expected that to be the case and started picking through the rubble.
As his apartment was on the top floor, he was able to salvage some of his possessions but not many. Only some of his clothes survived the explosions before the building had been collapsed. A few pots and dishes managed to be pulled out of the rubble. He sighed softly as his scroll library was gone. Years of scrounging and copying gone in a hour's time. His weapons reserve had been in the mission bag and those were gone as well. For the first time in his life he was glad he had so little in the way of material possessions so he had very little to lose.
The longer he picked through the remains, the more he heard some neighbors grumbling. People who never treated him fairly to begin with were beginning to crowd around as he worked trying to find some of his more important treasures in the debris. The grumbling began to increase in volume as he ignored them entirely.
He was not sure who threw the first rock but soon many people were hurling stones and bits of debris at him. He was getting ready to do something when Izumo and Kotetsu showed up and intervened.
"Go about your business people. You have no reason to be bothering this ninja," Izumo called out.
The civilians were reluctant to stop but they knew the pair of chunin would not allow the mob to exercise their 'righteous wrath' on the 'demon boy'. Slowly, the mob drifted away.
The two chunin simply turned back to Naruto and started lifting pieces of roof too big for one person to move and helped Naruto gather what little they could find. Once it was too dark to see, the pair tapped Naruto on the shoulder and simply told him to follow them. With his possessions in a bag made from a sheet, Naruto followed to an apartment block a distance away in one of the better neighborhoods.
"Toss the stuff in there for now. We three got an appointment to get to," Izumo ordered.
Kotetsu led off and within minutes, they arrived at a bar. Naruto was confused but followed them in. The place was packed with ninja of chunin rank or higher. The blond looked around at the solemn faces and turned to leave but his guides led him to the bar.
"Drinks for three," Izumo told the bartender. The man looked pointedly at Naruto with a glare before back at Izumo with a dark look on his face.
"He's underage," the bartender said.
"He is on MY team," Izumo stated in a moderately loud voice as he returned the glare. Many nearby ninja stopped talking and looked on. Silence spread until the bar was quiet.
"I said he is on MY team," Izumo repeated when the bartender did not move. Long seconds ticked off as the silence grew oppressive and the retired ninja who ran bar stared at first Izumo then at Kotetsu.
"Is that so?" the bartender finally said in a gruff voice.
"It is," answered Kotetsu for his partner.
The bartender nodded slowly and pulled out a dusty bottle from under the bar. He poured three shots of amber colored liquor and set them before Izumo, Kotetsu and Naruto.
"Newbie makes the toast," was all he said.
Izumo nodded. He picked up his drink and raised it face high. Once Naruto and Kotetsu matched him he spoke.
Naruto had never drunk before and knew nothing of toasts. He did knew he was expected to add to it. Kotetsu leaned in close and whispered in Naruto's ear what he needed to say and do.
"For everyone that fought," Izumo said then looked to Kotetsu.
"For everyone that lived," Kotetsu picked up the toast and looked to Naruto.
"And for everyone that didn't," he croaked out hoping he got it right.
There as a grunt of approval from the assembled crowd as the trio drank the shots in a single gulp. When Naruto set the shot glass on the bar, there was a quart bottle of sake waiting with three dishes. Kotetsu picked them up and led off to a table.
Narumi was shaken awake by Tsunade from her spot on the break room floor in the hospital. A field sleeping bag had been her bed for the little rest she had gotten. From the moment the Hokage had led the forces out of the arena, she had been Shizune's shadow and spare set of hands. The girl was ready with a shadow clone whenever it was needed. She fetched and carried supplies all over the triage area. One clone had even sat for hours holding the hand of an old woman who was dying from wounds. The woman refused treatment unless all the 'young people who can still have a life' were dealt with. The clone stayed with the old woman until she faded into the next life.
Tsunade arrived shortly after the Hokage had left with sake on her breath. She was giving advice to Shizune and all the other medics on treatments but avoided seeing bleeding patients if she could help it. Her fear of blood was kicking in badly and it took all of her strength of will to just function near them. The Sannin instead dealt with mainly with blunt trauma wounds and broken bones while the medics did the bloody work. Little was said about her actions but those that knew her understood. The legendary medic would answer any treatment question with what needed to be done but she could not bring herself to do the work on her own.
Hours passed and the body count rose in the medical area. Sakura and Ino had passed out hours before but Narumi kept right on working through the night until Shizune took the girl to the break room to rest. The teen protested that she could still help when the dark haired woman touched the redhead on the forehead with a forced sleep jutsu.
Now, on the second day Narumi got up and began to help once more. Medics had worn themselves out and had little sleep to recharge their bodies and minds before jumping back into treatment areas. The death toll was horrendous and each small victory over death was not even thought about past a nod and turning to fight with death for another life. The girl kept up with the duties Shizune had assigned her and her shadow clones freed up trained people to help with the more severely injured. A clone would sit and monitor vitals and status of a patient when the hospital ran out of machines to do so. A group of clones was assigned to start dealing with repetitive paperwork that needed to be filled out for the dead.
By the second evening, while Naruto was being taken to the bar by the chunin, Narumi was exhausted in body and spirit. The overload from the information gained from the clones had finally caught up with her and she slipped into darkness.
"Oh, my poor baby," said out a voice as Narumi seemed to wake. She looked to see a white area all around and kneeling in front of her as an older version of what she now saw in the mirror.
"What?" Narumi muttered in confusion. "Who are you?"
The woman smiled gently at Narumi. "My little Naru-chan. I'm your mother, Uzumaki Kushina."
"So, this is some kind of dream then?" Narumi wondered aloud.
"Yes and no," Kushina replied with a giggle. "I've been inside of you all along." The woman poked the seal on Narumi's stomach.
"Your father sealed the Kyuubi inside of you and locked in a bit of both of our chakras in as well. It would give you a chance to meet us after a fashion when you really needed us. Think of me like a shadow clone of your mom if that helps," Kushina said.
Narumi nodded a bit. She could understand shadow clones.
"Why?" Narumi asked bluntly as she lightly rubbed her stomach.
Kushina sighed. "It is hard to explain but the easiest is that I was the jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi before you. When it was time for my little Naruto-kun to be born, your father took us away from the village. You see, when a jinchuuriki gives birth the seal holding the demon weakens. Your father was holding it intact but we were attacked by someone. They threatened you just after you were born and put an explosive on you. Your father saved you but the man took me away. He made the seal on me fail thus freeing the Kyuubi."
"He had a means of controlling the demon. It attacked Konoha that night under his command as your father rescued me. I was dying by that point as the unsealing was supposed to be fatal. Uzumaki have a strong constitution so I was still around but not for long. Your father freed the Kyuubi from the control of the masked man and brought it back to our house in the hills behind Konoha where we were."
"It needed to be resealed so I was going to take it back into myself before I died but I was not strong enough. I would be dead before it could be finished. Minato instead used a different seal to pull half the chakra into himself and sealed the other half into you. He put a bit of each of our chakra into the seal in case we were needed one day."
Narumi looked confused. "But the Fourth sealed the Kyuubi inside of me," she said.
"Your father. You mean Sarutobi never told you?" Kushina asked.
"No. No one told me anything about that," Narumi said in a small voice.
Kushina flared up and her hair flew out wildly behind her as her anger spiked. Narumi cringed down in fear until the episode passed and her mother calmed down.
"Minato had a lot of faith in that old man but he should have known better. Still, I know you have a lot of questions and I have only a little time to answer them. But one other thing first," Kushina said as she finished calming herself.
The red headed woman sat and pulled the teen onto her lap and snuggled the girl.
"I seem to recall giving birth to a little blond haired boy but a redheaded Mini Me is also a good thing," she said as Narumi struggled a bit.
"I'm not a baby," she protested weakly as she kind of enjoyed being held like that.
"Hush, I only got to cuddle you once and I am not passing up my only other opportunity to do so," the woman said in a kind voice.
"Can you fix me?" Narumi asked in a timid voice. "Make me Naruto again?"
"No sweetheart," Kushina replied sadly. "The mess that your father and Orochimaru created can't be undone. Rather than let the demon escape completely, your father's essence sacrificed itself again to cast a forbidden Flesh Clone jutsu. The demon retaliated by damaging your body badly and only the jutsu allowed you to survive. The purpose was to lock the demon into a fleshy body so it could be killed. But it didn't work out like that in the end."
"So I'm stuck like this forever after all," Narumi said sadly.
"Well, it's not all bad. I would have had more children in time and since I didn't, I'm glad to see I got a Naruto-kun and a Narumi-chan out of it in the end," Kushina almost squealed happily
Narumi pouted a bit hearing that but the almost crushing snuggle from her mom allayed the feeling a bit.
"I liked being a boy," Narumi said instead.
"So, now you just learn to like being who you are. Honestly, until you hit puberty the only real physical difference in boys and girl is the plumbing. So you learn to go on as a girl instead of a boy is all," Kushina said primly.
"But time for some serious information," Kushina stated shifting moods once more. "The Kyuubi is still around somewhere. Minato managed to separate its power from its will when it tried to break out of here. The power is still trapped behind the seal here." Kushina lightly touched Narumi's stomach. "The will got out with the darker half of your personality into the clone body. I do not think it could affect him much but it will do whatever it needs to do to get its power back. Until then it is vulnerable."
"It will begin by soaking up whatever ambient bijuu chakra in the air. You must be careful not to use the power directly from the seal if you can help it. If it gets back enough power, it will be able to create a new body for itself. Once that happens, it could go on a new rampage," Kushina warned.
Narumi nodded slowly as she processed that information.
Kushina tightened her grip on Narumi. "My time is almost up, little one. I'll see you again someday. Until then you be a good person and find yourself someone to love and make me lots of grandbabies," she said happily.
Narumi got a little green at the thought of babies, more so since she had spent her life until a month prior thinking about making them, not carrying them.
Kushina began to fade out as her energy depleted. "I love you Naru-chan. I always have and always will. Never forget that," she said as she vanished.
Next Chapter: Rebuilding Towards the Future.
End Notes: The comment Kushina makes about pre-puberty boys and girls being essentially the same except for the plumbing may or may not be correct depending on which study you reference. Most differences in young boys and girls are cultural anyway. My purpose for her saying it in this story is to make Narumi feel better. No scientific or religious views are intended to be upset. Hate generated from it will be ignored.
Story Review Notes: To people who thought Gaara could off the Sandaime like that, yeah right.
Lee getting squished was not to make needless death but was Gaara simply winning quickly. He had seen Lee fight. He understood Lee was strong and killing strong people proves his existence. He saw the speed the boy had and prepared to deal with him. It would be simple to leave a layer of sand on the ground to push up all at once to launch the boy into the air when Lee runs over it. As Lee cannot fly, he will travel in a ballistic trajectory until he hits the ground again. No amount of will, contortions or youth will change that. The sand simply was moved in his path as he travelled in the air and squish.
With Hinata, it was a different case. When he looked into her eyes he saw something in her that reminded him of himself, a desire to prove her worth and her existence that matched his own. Hinata is simply hindered by her chronic shyness. In spite of Gaara at this point being near psychotic ending her life would have been almost like killing himself. So he allowed her to live. If she grows strong enough to prove her existence, then him beating her afterward means he can prove his as well.