Disclaimer: Dragonball in all its forms, Dragonball, Dragonball Z, and Dragonball GT, do not belong to me but to Akria Toriyama.
Author's Note: This was written before I knew of Goku's eventual fate. So don't yell at me if it doesn't match up with the end of the show, because I know that already. This is supposedly set after they defeat all of the dragons in Dragonball GT.
At dinner that evening Pan was strangely silent. Videl became concerned and after they finished eating she asked, “What's wrong, Pan dear?”
Instead of replying directly, Pan asked, “Is there such thing as ghosts?”
Her family blinked at each other. “Well,” Gohan said thoughtfully, “I think there is such thing. I saw one once, or what I think was one. Do you want to hear?”
There was consent all around, and so Gohan began. “It was when Piccolo had left me in the wilderness to make me learn how to survive on my own. I was about, say, most of the way through those six months. I was looking for food when I saw a man climbing up a rock spire. Since Piccolo had said that there was no one living there, I was curious, so I went over to see. I think it was in a part I had never been in before, but I can't be really sure. It was a long time ago.
”He was about in his late twenties, and had a brown leather cape on. He wore a shapeless hat and tough boots of the same materiel. As I got closer, I could see gauntlets reaching up to his elbows, and a shirt with pieces of metal riveted to the front. His hair was brown, his skin olive, and his eyes silver and strangely empty.
”The man was halfway up the spire by the time I joined him. I asked, ‘What are you doing here, sir?' He didn't answer, just kept on climbing. Again I tried. ‘What's on the top of this rock?' I asked. Still no answer. I attempted to lay my hand on his shoulder. It passed right through!
”I certainly was scared, but gathering my courage I scrambled up to the top of the top of the spire. There was nothing there! I carefully climbed back down to him. He was slipping and I tired to help him, forgetting that he was apparently unsubstantial. Again, my hand passed through him. Cripes, that felt weird.
”He got himself up onto a ledge, and began to take off his cape and armor. He folded the cloak and laid the gauntlets on top of it. He took off the shirt and neatly folded it beside them. He wore a dirty undershirt under it. ‘After all,' I heard him murmur, ‘Mother and little Lola ‘ould yell at me ‘f I got ‘em wrinkled.' He then sat down on the edge and gave himself a pep talk. ‘Mother's up dere, giving it her best. Kayo's up dere, gigglin' like a demented demon, prob'ly. Little Lola's up dere, prob'ly erasin' her ‘tackers' minds. ‘Eck, even Dad's up dere, bu' I have no clue why, he can't even fight! Good gawds, I gotta save ‘em! Gotta get up dere…' He had a very strange accent, now that I think about it…”
”The guy I saw did just the same thing!” Pan exclaimed. “But there was more to it…”
”Indeed there was.” Gohan said with a smile. He continued. “Now let me see… Ah, yes. He started upward again and had a better time of it now that he was less desperate and more determined. He quickly reached the top, and when he did, he stood up on the edge. A voice said ‘Idiot.' You should have seen me jump! Anyway, there was a great blast of energy that went right through his chest. Slowly, he fell down to the ground. He landed with a bounce, and his head dropped back. I dropped down beside him. As he died, he had this awful look of despair on his face. I said a prayer for him, course. But as I did, he faded out! As he did this, another one of him ran up to the spire and began to climb, repeating the process…” Gohan was quiet, having finished.
”Wow, Gohan, did you ever tell anyone about it?” Videl asked.
”I told Piccolo, but he said that it was just an illusion and it wasn't real,” Gohan said. “I kept my own counsel, though.” He smiled sadly.
”I'm sorry Piccolo died, Gohan,” Goku told him.
”Thanks, Dad.” Gohan sighed.
”When did you see this, Pan?” Chi Chi inquired to her granddaughter.
”When I was coming back from visiting Colm,” Pan replied. “I had decided to take the long way around, and I passed over where Piccolo trained you, Dad. I saw movement, and I went to investigate. I saw and heard the same thing you did,” Pan told them.
”That's right,” Goten said thoughtfully. “You were a bit late, and you went right up your room when you did get home. I did think that was strange…”
”You know,” Gohan said, “I've always wondered who that poor man was. I hope he rests in peace.”
Everyone agreed with this, and so they went their separate ways. Videl and Chi Chi went to clean up from dinner. Goten went to call Paris . Gohan went back to his books. And because Pan was feeling better, she and Goku went to train.