On further investigation, I think this behavior makes sense. When trying to remove a variable using the 'block' method - it results in a void space. It is reasonable that it would be filled with something. I haven't tested, but I would imagine that if I set my default style to something invisible, or extremely small, then it might use that style instead.
Now that I am removing the elements 'inline', the line itself is staying where it is, with the formatting intact.