- “Only a fool would fall in love with John Constantine and not expect it to be rocky. I knew the risks and I took them anyway. For you”
- — Des to John
Just after the Legends inadvertently release magical fugitives into the mortal realm, Constantine spends some time in New Orleans. At a local bar, he is served by Desmond and they share an instant connection. They spend the night together and despite John's aversion to any emotional attachment to others, in spite of himself, he falls in love. Desmond and John start a relationship and move in together in New Orleans. Not long after John is being targeted by the demon Neron that owns Constantine's soul and, to try and protect Des, John implores Des to get away from him. Instead, Des decides to give himself up to the demon in an attempt to save John. As Des and Neron are bound together, John has to damn Desmond to hell along with Neron for the sake of the world and crumbles with grief in heartbreak as Desmond is thrown into hell. Drowning his sorrows and meandering grief-stricken, John reluctantly joins the Legends when they need his help with the magical fugitives to try and distract himself from the pain.
One night, John dreams about meeting Des, when he is awoken by Charlie. She shows him her powers coming back, but John says that he's not going to help her. She leaves and he looks down at the medallion in his hand that had previously belonged to Des. The Legends arrive in New Orleans during the 1800s, and John ends up on the same street where he meets Des, getting flashbacks to that night. He is then taken by Marie Laveau, who sensed Des's medallion on him. She enters John's memory to figure out how he got it. John flashes back to coming home to Des after going to the market, then to him telling Dez to leave New Orleans, since there is a powerful demon after John. Des gives him the medallion, telling John that it's imbued with a protection spell. John will take it, but only if Des promises to leave town. He agrees, and Marie pulls John from his flashback. She tells John that Des must have loved him to give the medallion to him and asks if John loved him back. She demands to know what happened to Des. John tells her that he was killed by a demon and that she should curse him for his part in it, but Laveau questions why she would when John can save him. Constantine asserts that Des is gone for good, but Laveau seems to cast some spell on John before he leaves with the team.
Back on the Waverider, he teams up with Charlie to help her regain her powers in exchange for her helping change the past and save Desmond's life. They stop John and Des from meeting, but it is one of those instances where time wants to happen, as Rip put it, and there's no changing it. John and Des meet a few days later instead, and as Constantine and Charlie try to return in the jumpship to give it another go, Zari brings them back. Constantine tells Zari and Charlie what happened between him and Des, including John's eternal damnation. It turns out he's stalling to get intel on the rules of time travel and returns to New Orleans after he and Des meet to break them up, while Charlie stalls Zari. Ready to do it, John falters when he sees Des again. Sobering to the task, John tells Des that he put a love spell on him for sex and that what they had was never real. Des tries to get through to what's really going on, but John persists and Des leaves, changing the timeline.
It works, but John's alteration makes the Legends into killers, then Charlie's Angels knock-offs and then puppets, simultaneously killing various team members in each iteration he and Charlie subsequently try to fix. John refuses to return to New Orleans until he risks brain damage from all the minor alterations, and Zari convinces him that he can find another way to save Des. John finally relents and returns to make up with Des in 2018 New Orleans. He manages to do so, then memory flashes Des and walks away. The Constantine from the 6 months prior returns to find Des standing in the street confused and tells him he's got everything they need for breakfast. On an alternate timeline, Sara's orders Ray and Rory take aim at present-day-Constantine, but the John from 6 months prior moves in to kiss Des and when their lips touch the timeline resets and present-day-Constantine gets all his memories back, hurting once more from Des' demise.
When Neron chooses Ava as his "vessel" to return Tabitha, John, Nora and Charlie set up a trap for Neron as he returns to check on 'Ava'. As Des and Neron are connected, Constantine uses the medallion to bind Neron and knock him out. They keep him at the Time Bureau, where Neron tries to lure Nora into releasing him, so she can become his "vessel". Neron thinks it works, but in reality, Constantine and Nora have played him to separate Neron from the body he possesses in order to destroy him. Ray mistakes the situation and interrupts, leading Neron to knock everyone out and possess Ray instead, which nobody sees. Having been separated from the demon it seems Des is free of his deal with Neron and is alive. Constantine runs to him and is overjoyed at having him back. After the ordeal, Constantine goes to talk to Des who appreciates John saving him, but nothing more. Des is struck that John banished him to hell and John doesn't try to plead with Des to take him back, but rather offers him the chance to forget. Des refuses, saying they should both live with that pain and walks away, leaving a resigned John standing with tears in his eyes.
When Constantine was getting flashbacks of a mysterious man, Legends/Constantine fans were speculating who it was. Constantine fans thought the Legends crew had recast Manny or that it was the Legends big bad (not exactly wrong). When it was revealed that he was John's boyfriend, LGBT fans flipped out and were quick to the ship the two.
Fans of the NBC Constantine series, were upset that Constantine's bisexuality wasn't seen. When it was announced that he would be on Legends, fans were excited when it was also announced that he would be explicitly bi. When it was revealed that Constantine had a boyfriend during the off season, fans were extremely excited. This was also a rare occurrence given that many bisexual male characters aren't shown in serious relationships with those of the same gender.
On AO3 it is the most written ship for Desmond.
Notes and references
|SHIPS||slash||Atomwave • ColdAtom • ColdRay • Coldwave • Constandes|
Constangreen • Hellstar • Hellwave • Naterad • SteelAtom • Steelwave • TimeHex
|het||Atomic Hawk • Canarrow • Captain Canary • Darhkblazer • Hawkmates|
Hellcanary • Hexari • Namaya • Snowatom • Superatom • Time Canary • Timeship • Vixenwave • Zaray
|poly||DarhkSteelAtom • DarhkWuSharpe • Snowtotems|
|femslash||Agent Canary • Avalance • Nyssara • Zamaya • Zelen|
|non-binary||Marlie • Zarlie|
|CHARACTERS||female||Sara Lance • Zari Tomaz|
|male||Ray Palmer • Mick Rory • John Constantine • Nate Heywood|