What if the fourth's dying wish was for Naruto to be trained by Jiriaya apart from the Leaf until he was ready to face his destiny? And what better time to come back then for the Chuunin exam? The whole crew is there but not in the same order as you might expect. I don't own Naruto, you know that. Everyone's happy. Lets get on with the story.

The Third Hokage looked down at the little bundle of cloth he held and the equally small face that poked out of it. He sighed heavily, part of his mind wondering why his good friend had chosen his own son for this great task. (We're assuming Naruto and the Fourth are father and son, so shoot me) He idly wondered about the hardships the boy would have to go through as he grew up. He stared first at the sleeping babe then up at the newly completed stone face of the Fourth that loomed above him as he stood on the roof of the Ninja Administration building.

*They look so much alike* The old man mused as he once again looked back down at the little boy's face. The only difference he could see were the two sets of whisker marks on the little blond's face.

The Third sighed again and contemplated the fourth's final order concerning his son. The Fourth had ordered that his son be placed under the care and guidance of his former master Jiriaya, one of the legendary Sennin. The Fourth had foreseen what might happen if he allowed his son to remain among the people of the Leaf. He knew the boy would be scorned and hated for what he carried inside of him. He knew that there was no way to prevent it from happening unless he got him out of the village. So he had sent a message to his former master asking for his help. That night the Yondaime went into battle, sealing away the Nine Tails in the body of his young son, and dying in the process.

It had now been several weeks since the incident and still Jiriaya had not shown up. The white haired hermit might not have gotten the message, he might be on his way right now, or he could have chosen to ignore it. The Third highly doubted Jiriaya would do such a thing as ignore a request, really a plea, from his own student and good friend. That still did not remedy the fact that Jiriaya wasn't there.

So the Third had taken it upon himself to take care of the child until Jiriaya decided to show up. If worst came to worst he would have to put the little boy under the care of another family, even if it did go against the Yondaime's wishes. One could not follow an order if the other person mentioned in the order didn't show up.

So every day the Third took some time off of his busy schedule to play with the child and take him up to see the stone face of his father and the other Hokages. He found the little boy captivating. He was full of energy and was constantly trying to pull on the Third's beard. But today was different. Today the little boy had hardly opened an eye. He simply slept and sucked on a thumb every once in a while.

The old man mused on the lives of children, one in particular, and enjoyed the sunlight until a presence behind him made the old man turn his eyes from the stone faces. He knew who was behind him even before he saw the white hair and red tattoos.

"Jiriaya, I was afraid you would not come." he said as he motioned with his head for the other man to join him.

The white haired hermit came and stood with his teacher and looked first at the stone faces and then at the little bundle in the Hokage's arms. "I came as fast as I could." He said as he stared at the child. "I was on the far side of the wind country when I got the message and even then I could not leave. Business would not wait."

The Hokage nodded and again pried his eyes away from the mountain side to look at the child he held. The kid was still asleep. "They do look very similar." Jiriaya mused. The Third smiled. "I was just thinking the same thing."

They stood together for a while. Neither saying anything. Both were lost in thought. Finally a bell rang the hour and jolted both out of their quite state. The Third sighed again and held out his precious package. "I must return to my office. He is yours now." he said as Jiriaya took the little boy. He also handed over two scrolls. "The first is the fourth's last wishes, not all of which you know of. The other is for the boy when he grows up and is ready to return to us."

Jiriaya nodded and stashed the two scrolls away. He pondered the boy that now slept in his arms. "I won't be stopping by then for a good while." Jiriaya commented. The Third shook his head. "No, but do return. I would like to see the Fourth's heir return to Konoha one of these days."

The white haired Sennin turned to leave but paused and looked back over his should. "I suppose it would be a good thing if I knew the boy's name."

The old Hokage chuckled as he turned to stare back at the stone faces one last time before heading back into his office. "Naruto. His name is Uzumaki Naruto."